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Bayern München

I took Bayern job out of loyalty, says Flick

7:41 PM IST 05/11/19
Hansi Flick Bayern Munich 2019-20
The former midfielder returned to the club in the summer and has been put in charge of the first team for an interim period

Hans-Dieter Flick says he agreed to take charge of Bayern Munich out of "loyalty to the club" after he replaced Niko Kovac as coach on an interim basis.

Kovac was sacked on Sunday after his side were crushed 5-1 by the coach's previous club Eintracht Frankfurt, leaving the reigning champions sitting four points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

A host of candidates have been tipped to replace the 48-year-old, who lasted just over a year in his role.

The likes of Jose Mourinho, Massimiliano Allegri, Arsene Wenger, Ralf Rangnick and Erik ten Hag have all been named as possible successors, though the latter insists he will not be leaving Ajax during the current campaign .

Meanwhile, reports in Germany claim Thomas Tuchel is open to moving to the Allianz Arena in the summer, depending on how Paris Saint-Germain finish the season.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness said the club will know more about Kovac's permanent successor in the next three weeks .

In the meantime, former Germany assistant manager Flick, who joined Kovac's background staff in the summer, has been placed at the helm temporarily and he is looking forward to the challenge.

"It happened very quickly. It was clear that I would step in out of loyalty to the club, but it's a huge challenge for me," he told reporters on Tuesday as he prepares to start his tenure with a home game against Olympiacos in the Champions League.

"I want to talk to all the players and tell them again what they are capable of and what they do, and I want the team to take initiative and show their quality.

"We have to focus on what's ahead. I'm really happy that we've been able to bring (new assistant) Hermann Gerland on board. The team hold him in very high regard."

Despite their tumultuous start to the domestic campaign, Bayern are top of their Champions League group with a five-point lead over Tottenham.

But Flick says he expects a stubborn display from Wednesday's opponents.

He added: "They have shown in Piraeus that they are very defensively strong and very compact, they have good wing play and a lot of good individuals."