Koeman explains why he left Southampton and whether he'd target Saints stars

New manager Ronald Koeman during the press conference

The new Everton manager addressed some issues concerning former club Southampton in his first press conference as Toffees boss.

New manager Ronald Koeman during the press conferenceNew manager Ronald Koeman during the press conference

Ronald Koeman's management switch to Everton from Southampton is probably one of the most high profile moves so far this summer, so it was understandable there would be plenty of interest in the Dutchman's first press conference as Toffees manager, as reported on by Sky Sports.

And the former Saints boss had a couple of particularly interesting things to say in relation to the club he has just left, as he shed some light on why he departed St Mary's.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman acknowledges fans at the end of the matchRonald Koeman acknowledges Southampton fans at the end of a match

Southampton supporters were especially disappointed in Koeman's departure given the good work he has done on the south coast and the strong league finishes he had helped the club to during his two years there. The Saints finished sixth and seventh in the Premier League under Koeman, while Everton could only manage two 11th place finishes under Roberto Martinez over that period.

But Koeman has revealed that it was in fact a contract dispute that left him open to moving to Goodison Park, who are under new ownership after a takeover from Farhad Moshiri earlier this year.

"I will keep it short on Southampton as it is important to look forward in life," he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "I had a meeting with the board - the first option was to go into the third year of my contract, and I said that was not possible.

New manager Ronald Koeman poses with a Everton jersey after the press conferenceNew manager Ronald Koeman poses with a Everton jersey after the press conference

"There was no way I was signing a new contract and I did not agree. Through that whole story, Everton showed that kind of interest. Southampton gave me the permission to talk to Everton and I'm the new manager - and that's all I would like to say.

"Thanks to them, we had two fantastic seasons - thanks to the players, staff and fans, but I'm in Everton now."

Of further interest to supporters of both clubs is Koeman's words on whether he would return to St Mary's to sign any of his old players.

And he couldn't promise he wouldn't make a bid even if he did acknowledge it wouldn't go down well at his old side, who must be sick of their stars departing or being linked to Merseyside moves.

"I don't know [if he would try and sign any Saints players]," he said. "It's difficult. I like most of the players but maybe it's best we don't make that fight today."

Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana have moved to Liverpool in recent years, and there are a large number of Saints stars whose futures could be up for debate, with the club still yet to replace Koeman.

Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright and new manager Ronald Koeman during the press conferenceEverton Chairman Bill Kenwright and new manager Ronald Koeman during the press conference

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