Ronald Koeman’s future at Barcelona continues to be the subject of speculation, but the Dutchman is reportedly set to stay on as coach for another season and see out his two-year contract at the Camp Nou.
Yet Koeman has been told by president Joan Laporta that his continuity does depend on one condition. Laporta has asked Koeman to play “more offensive football” and even revert to Barca’s traditional 4-3-3 formation, according to Sique Rodriguez at Cadena SER.
Koeman used a variety of formations in his first season in charge with varying degrees of success but favored a 3-5-2 set-up towards the end of the campaign. Barca lifted the Copa del Rey but missed out on the title and suffered an early Champions League exit.
The Barca board has also spoken to Koeman regarding the planned arrivals and departures of players next season and about the club’s style of play. Koeman has justified his team’s performance so far as being dependent on the players he had available but a more attractive style is wanted at the Camp Nou.
The club has reportedly used Barcelona Women’s team as an example. Barca Femeni won the treble this season with eight games to spare. Lluis Cortes’s all-conquering side scored 129 goals in 29 matches and conceded just 11.
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Laporta Hints That Koeman Will Stay
Barcelona president Joan Laporta hinted that Koeman would stay at the Camp Nou on Tuesday at a news conference to unveil new signing Eric Garcia, as reported by Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.
“I would say he’s closer to [staying] than [leaving],” Laporta said. “We’re in a period of reflection, but talks are going well.” Koeman’s current contract runs until the end of the 2021-22 season.
Koeman has already made it clear he wants to stay for another season but only if he has the full backing of the club, as reported by Sky Sports. He said, “It’s very important for a coach to work in a club where he has absolute confidence. If that’s the case, I can and I’d like to stay.”
The Dutchman’s continuity at the club could be announced over the next 24 hours. According to Catalunya Radio, a final decision could be made during Thursday’s board meeting.
Messi To Stay At Barcelona Too?
Koeman may not be the only key figure staying at Barcelona. Captain Lionel Messi is now expected to continue his career at the club despite asking to leave in the summer of 2020.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has reported Barca is “working on last details” of Messi’s new contract. The club is “confident” he will accept a two-year deal after “positive” talks.
The change of president from Josep Maria Bartomeu to Laporta has undeniably hepled, while Messi also appreciates the new signings the club has madem according to Romano. Messi’s good friend Sergio Aguero has arrived on a free transfer, so too former defender Eric Garcia, and Emerson Royal has returned from Real Betis.
Netherlands internationals Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay continue to be linked with a move to the Camp Nou and could also arrive on free transfers before the start of the season.