(Reuters) - New Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac hopes the club can hold on to striker Robert Lewandowski and make a winning start against Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Super Cup final.
German media reports have linked the prolific Poland forward with a move away from the German champions to clubs including Real Madrid and Chelsea.
“We maintain that Lewandowski will play for Bayern this season,” Kovac told a news conference on Monday. “I told him how important he is for this team and how much I value him.”
Lewandowski’s contract with the club runs until 2021. The 29-year-old has scored 151 goals in 195 appearances for the German side.
Croatian Kovac, who took over from Jupp Heynckes on a three-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, said it was important for him to make a winning start when Bayern face Frankfurt in the Super Cup final on Aug. 12.
“Of course, I’m very much looking forward to facing Frankfurt in the Super Cup,” he said. “It’s my old club, I’ve only been gone for six or seven weeks... I’m selfish enough to say I want to win this title in my first game with Bayern.
“I know a lot of people look at a new coach’s CV, to see what he achieved. It’s great to come here with a title,” he said, referring to Frankfurt’s victory over Bayern in last season’s German Cup final.
Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond