FRANKFURT: Record German champions Bayern Munich have sacked coach Nico Kovac and appointed Hansi Flick as caretaker ahead of the Champions League tie against Olympiacos and next weekend’s Bundesliga clash with old rivals Borussia Dortmund.

The 48-year-old Croat was relieved of his duties after Saturday’s disastrous 5-1 defeat by Eintracht in Frankfurt. The decision had been taken “by mutual consent” according to a statrement from club president Uli Hoeneß, ceo Karl -Heinz Rummenigge and sports director Hamid Salihamidzic.

A statement from Kovac said: “Our recent results and the way we have been playing  made me come to this decision.”

Kovac had been living on borrowed time for some months. Speculation about a successor has ranged across the likes of Ralf Rangnick, José Mourinho and Max Allegri as well as Bayern old boys Erik ten Hag (now Ajax Amsterdam) and Xabi Alonso, who played in Munich from 2014 to 2017 and since the beginning of the season has been in charge of the nursery team of Real Sociedad de San Sebastian.

Flick played for Bayern between 1985 to 1990 and joined the Bayern coaching staff in the summer after being long-time aide to national manager Joachim Low.