Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes: Now's not the time to discuss Niko Kovac
MUNICH -- Jupp Heynckes has refused to be drawn on the controversy surrounding the appointment of Eintracht Frankfurt's Niko Kovac as the new Bayern Munich coach.
On Friday, Bayern announced that Kovac had agreed a three-year contract to become their new coach but the story broke in Germany on the previous evening, leading to accusations from Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic that were denied by Bayern president Uli Hoeness.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Bayern's DFB Pokal semifinal against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, Heynckes said he would not discuss the issue.
"Now is not the time to discuss Niko Kovac. I'm focused on the game tomorrow."
Heynckes said ex-Leverkusen midfielder Arturo Vidal would miss the tie against his former club after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury in training on Sunday.
"No other player was involved -- he slipped and the incident appeared as harmless as one could imagine," Heynckes said.
A scan revealed that Vidal had "foreign bodies" in his knee but Heynckes said he would have "a minor arthroscopic operation" and could return for the Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid later this month.
"We can't say how long he will be out for but he is motivated to return as soon as possible," he said.
"Arturo especially would have liked to play against Real, he's a born fighter and one of those players who can grit his teeth."
Record signing Corentin Tolisso is also struggling to make the DFB Pokal squad after picking up a knock as Bayern thrashed Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Heynckes made seven changes from the team that progressed to the Champions League semifinals with a draw against Sevilla.
But he said: "I do not pick a Bayern B team -- they are all top international players, many of them all wanting to impress and seal a place in the World Cup with their country.
"We are displaying high-quality footballing art at the moment."
Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich has been showing his side footage of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards ahead of their meeting against the record cup winners.
"Eddie the Eagle was a typical loser" Herrlich told kicker, before adding that he admired the legendary British ski jumper's fighting spirit.
In Germany, Leverkusen have been christened "Neverkusen" for falling short on the big occasion, regularly failing to crown their fine play with silverware over the years.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.