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Club Brugge boss Clement set to replace Kovac as Monaco coach

Monaco (AFP) – Club Brugge boss Philippe Clement is set to take over from Niko Kovac as coach of Ligue 1 side Monaco, a source close to the club told AFP on Friday.

Former Bayern Munich coach Kovac was sacked on Thursday, but his dismissal has not yet been made official.

According to sources, Clement has accepted a two-and-a-half year contract with the Principality side.

Clement, 47, has coached Club Brugge since May 2019 leading them to the last two Belgian league titles, with the club currently second in the table.

The former Belgian international midfielder previously led Genk to the Belgian league title in 2019.

Kovac, 50, was told of the decision to terminate his contract which ran until 2023 by the club’s board late on Thursday.

The former Croatia international took over the under-performing French side from Robert Moreno in July 2020 on a three-year deal with the option of a further season.

Monaco finished third last season but were eliminated in the Champions League’s qualifiers and are sixth in the French table, 17 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

There were reported tensions between Kovac and squad members including captain Wissam Ben Yedder.

Kovac took Monaco to May’s French Cup final, where they lost to PSG and they started this season with three defeats in their opening six league games.

The team have yet to break into Ligue 1’s top five this term and summer signings including Dutch striker Myron Boadu and German winger Ismail Jakobs have found it difficult to settle.

Big name arrivals such as Germany’s Kevin Volland and ex-Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas have also been off-form for the club owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Kovac led Bundesliga giants Bayern to a league and cup double in 2019, having previously coached Eintracht Frankfurt and the Croatia national team.

Monaco last played in December 22’s home victory over Rennes before French football’s winter break and head to second-tier Quevilly-Rouen in the cup’s last 32 on Sunday.

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