Ronald Koeman has revealed he rejected an approach from Barcelona to become Ernesto Valverde’s successor in January.
The Blaugrana dismissed Valverde following an unconvincing start to the season, despite lifting two La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey under his stewardship.
Could Koeman manage Barcelona one day? Five things to know…
- Koeman has been in charge of the Dutch national team since February 2018.
- During that time, he’s guided them to the final of the Uefa Nations League and sealed Euro 2020 qualification.
- But Koeman has long been linked with managing Barcelona, whom he made 264 appearances for as a player.
- Quique Setien is the current Barca manager, replacing Ernesto Valverde in January, but he has struggled to improve results so far.
- But Koeman insists he’s fully focussed on seeing out his contract with the Netherlands, rejecting an approach from Barca in January.
Koeman has long been linked with the Barcelona job but in the end, they went with Quique Setien — although not for the want of trying, according to the current Netherlands boss.
“Yes, it’s true that Barca spoke to me but I said no because I’m with the [Netherlands] national team and I have a commitment to stay in this role,” Koeman said.
Having won four La Liga titles and a European Cup with Barca during his playing days — as well as forging a fearsome reputation as a goalscoring centre-back — Koeman remains a revered figure at the Camp Nou.
Setien took up the role as Barca manager in January but has so far failed to inspire improved performances from the Spanish champions, losing three of his 11 games in charge to date, including a 2-0 defeat to El Clasico rivals Real Madrid recently — a result which saw them surrender top spot in La Liga.
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Koeman has continually rebuffed suggestions he’s lined up to take the Barca job and insisted back in December that although you can “never say never”, he intends to see out his national team contract.
That said, as long as the Blaugrana continue to struggle on the pitch, he will be among a number of names linked with their managerial post.