Uli Hoeness revealed Bayern Munich appointed head coach Niko Kovac after being turned down by Thomas Tuchel following Jupp Heynckes’ reluctance to extend his contract with the Bundesliga champions.
Eintracht Frankfurt boss Kovac, 46, will replace Heynckes next season after Bayern announced a three-year deal for the Croatian Friday.
Tuchel had emerged as one of the favourites to take the reins in 2018-19 after Heynckes – who replaced Carlo Ancelotti in October – made it clear he would not continue beyond this season.
That was until Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed the former Borussia Dortmund coach had already agreed to a deal with an unnamed club, reportedly French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking about Bayern’s search for a coach following Saturday’s 5-1 rout of Borussia Monchengladbach, Hoeness told reporters: “It was portrayed as having a desperate search. Both of us and Hasan [Salihamidzic] have tried for a very, very long time to persuade Jupp.
“When we realised in a final, final conversation that he was not doing it, we were talking to the coach, who was free, Thomas Tuchel.
“He told us that he had already decided. That was a shame, but not a shock for us. He also had no contract offer, but it was the offer of a mutual conversation with us both, with Hasan he had met before.
“Then a few days later we met again internally and decided that our preferred candidate is now Niko Kovac. And that’s how it happened.”
Frankfurt have been critical of Bayern’s “unprofessional” approach for Kovac – director of football Fredi Bobic slamming the German powerhouse.
But Hoeness said: “We are a little bit confused. We talked about how best to inform the people of Frankfurt. Right now or at the end of the season, which would have been possible, then we said: If we were in their situation, we would also be interested in finding out as soon as possible that our coach will be lost.
“Then they have four weeks more time than we would have told them at the end of the season. That’s why we decided to do it as soon as possible. Hasan has discussed this with Niko. We do not even understand that this generous gesture is making a boomerang.”
Rummenigge also defended Bayern, adding: “I have to say that, from our point of view, there are no irritations. The whole thing may look like that, but we do not have to blame ourselves at all. We were fair, serious and clean. The whole story ended on Thursday in one day.
“Hasan Salihamidzic has told Niko Kovac that in the evening he will call Fredi Bobic to let him know. But Niko then said to him, he meets him in the evening. He had such a friendly relationship with him that he wanted to settle this with himself directly. I do not know where there was irritation.
“I understand that Fredi is not happy when a coach leaves the club with which they have worked successfully for two years. We can understand that. But we did not behave disrespectful. We acted completely fair.”