Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has opened up on his future and the only thing that would make him quit his job amid speculation he could be sacked by the Catalan giants.
Koeman told Voetbal International that he would only be tempted to walk away from the Camp Nou if he felt the players were no longer listening to him and that he had lost the dressing room, as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
“The only way I will quit at this club is when my messages don’t arrive at the players anymore,” he said. “That’s when I will say: “Okay, I am done here.” But this is not the case. Every day that I am on the pitch with my players is a nice day.”
The Dutch coach has overseen a tumultuous time since replacing Quique Setien as boss in August 2020. Joan Laporta has arrived to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu as president, while the club’s tricky financial situation has meant Barca have been unable to make big signings and ended up letting Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann leave in the summer.
Koeman was also asked if he had ever thought about quitting but made it clear it’s not something that has crossed his mind. He added, “That would have been easy, but I put my neck out for this club and I feel responsible for my assistants too.”
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Koeman Walks Out Of Press Conference
The Barca coach may not be thinking about leaving but he did create more headlines on Wednesday after refusing to answer questions at his pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s La Liga clash at Cadiz.
Koeman read out a lengthy statement instead, asking for patience and support while Barca rebuilds, and then left the room, as shown by the club’s Twitter account.
Monday’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Granada has heaped more pressure on Koeman with the team producing another uninspiring performance. A raft of injuries in attack also saw Koeman surprisingly deploy center-back Gerard Pique as an emergency striker alongside Luuk de Jong.
Roberto Martinez Responds To Barcelona Rumors
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has emerged as the favorite to replace Koeman “in the event there is not a dramatic improvement in the team’s performances,” according to Diario Sport’s Toni Juanmarti.
The Catalans approached Martinez over the summer but were told he was focused on Euro 2020 with Belgium. Another approach is expected with Juanmarti adding, “it’s now or never” for the former Everton man.
Martinez has played down speculation over his future and a possible move to Barcelona in an interview with Eurosport.
“Well as you can imagine there is nothing, nothing to comment for me,” he said. “When you lose three games the rumours are that you are going to lose your job. When things are going well, you are doing good results, the rumours will always be there, but it’s nothing for me to comment on at this point.”
Koeman will take charge of Barca again at Cadiz but will know any more dropped points will further increase scrutiny on his future and could even spell the end of his tenure at the Camp Nou.