Erik ten Hag has Bayern Munich 'in my heart' but remains committed to Ajax

Dutch manager emerges as front-runner to fill role left by Niko Kovac

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Ajax manager Erik ten Hag said he is committed to the Dutch club until the end of the season amid speculation he is wanted by Bayern Munich to succeed Niko Kovac.

Kovac left Bayern by "mutual decision" on Sunday after the German champions' 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt – their heaviest Bundesliga defeat in a decade.

The Croatian left Bayern with the champions fourth in the league table after 10 games, four points behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

Media reports have linked various names to the Bayern vacancy, with Ten Hag reportedly the front-runner thanks to both his recent success with Ajax and his connections with the Bavarian giants. Ten Hag was manager of Bayern Munich II for two years between 2013 and 2015.

According to Sky Germany, Bayern have made contact with Ajax and Ten Hag to express their interest in making the Dutchman their next manager.

But Ten Hag, who is contracted to Ajax until the end of the 2021/22 season, said he will not be moving midseason.

"I can confirm I feel a strong connection with my team and everyone at Ajax," Ten Hag told reporters before Ajax's Champions League clash with Chelsea.

“I can confirm I’m staying at Ajax this season. Bayern is a fantastic club, it is still in my heart, but I’m at Ajax.

“I’m not a dreamer. I focus on Ajax and live for today, and tomorrow’s game, which is important.”

Ajax are second in Group H on six points after three games, trailing leaders Chelsea by head-to-head after the Premier League club won the match in Amsterdam.

The two teams meet again at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.