Southampton boss addresses reported Barcelona interest

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman has commented on the reports that Barcelona intend to appoint him head coach.

The Dutchman has been a revelation since moving to St Mary’s Stadium, leading Southampton to potential Champions League qualification.

As reported by Sky Sports, Koeman is favourite to take charge of Barcelona if Luis Enrique is to leave Camp Nou, although such rumours have been delayed recently due to the seeming stability brought to the La Liga club since the start of January. A disagreement with Lionel Messi at the beginning of the transfer window looks to have been resolved, and, as of now, there are no indications that Enrique will depart before the end of the season.

Regardless, Koeman’s success in the Netherlands, as well as in his short spell with the Saints, has made him a top priority for officials at Camp Nou. A former player for Barca, where he spent six years as a player - helping the club to the 1992 European Cup - it is likely that chiefs will continually attempt to tempt him to Spain, but it is unlikely that will occur in the immediate future.

Speaking to Spanish media outlet Sport, Koeman praised Enrique’s work at Camp Nou, but refused to rule out a move to the Catalan giants somewhere in his career.

The 51-year-old said: “The club now has a great coach, it's Luis Enrique, and hopefully that will go well, because it makes me happy.

“For years I haven't thought about it [Barcelona], really. Certainly I was very close to the bench on occasions, but there is life after Barca and it will be just that, life, which in the future will tell us whether there will be that opportunity. This is a Ferris wheel and takes many turns. Here today, gone tomorrow…”

Koeman also addressed his current deal with the Saints, confirming that his aim is to qualify for Europe, as well as the presence of an ‘exit clause’ in his contract.

“I have three years of contract with Southampton and I have what is called an exit clause,” he added. “I have to devote myself to my job, which is attempting to qualify the team for Europe, which is a wonderful challenge for the club and the city.”

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