Soccer

Koeman feels ‘mistreated’ as he eyes ‘next step’ signings and extended stay at Barcelona

The Dutchman has held future talks with club president Joan Laporta and hopes to be given a chance to see out his contract

Ronald Koeman is feeling “mistreated” at Barcelona as questions continue to be asked of his future, with the Dutchman eyeing “next step” signings over the summer and an extended stay in the Camp Nou hot seat.

Having committed to a two-year contract upon returning to Catalunya in the summer of 2020, a Blaugrana legend is hoping to be given the chance to see out that deal.

He has held future talks with club president Joan Laporta and believes faith will be shown in him when more meetings are held at the end of the season.

What has been said?

Quizzed on his discussions with Laporta, Koeman told reporters ahead of a La Liga clash with Celta Vigo on Sunday: “I can’t explain much.

“We talked about the team, the season and recent results. We’ve arranged to meet again after the season.”

“The end of the season is the right moment to speak, above all for the club.

“I want to stay; I am happy and I see a lot of room to improve things. It’s a path that doesn’t end this season.

“In my opinion, there are a lot of positives. You can’t say two weeks ago everything is perfect and now it’s all terrible. That’s not fair. [Laporta] will have the final say but I am relaxed.”

Will Koeman be kept on?

Ronald Koeman Lionel Messi Barcelona 2020-21

The Barcelona boss finds himself under pressure as his side have struggled to live up to expectations this season.

A Copa del Rey triumph has been taken in, but a domestic title appears set to fall out of reach and a last-16 exit was suffered in the Champions League.

Koeman remains convinced that he has done the best possible job in testing circumstances and feels any criticism of him is unjust, with there still plenty of potential to unlock as transfer targets are lined up and Lionel Messi prepares to make a decision on his expiring contract.

“I feel a little bit [mistreated] in the last two weeks,” Koeman said of falling under the spotlight.

“If you analyse a season, you must analyse the changes to the team, the young players, that we won the cup, that we had 13 points [fewer] in December and we’re still fighting for the league – [even if] it’s a small possibility.

“That’s what you need to analyse. And if I heard the media in the last few days, it looks like we did a really bad job and I don’t agree.

“I feel supported by the players and the team has a big future. If we can sign what we think we lack to take the next step, I think we can be very excited about the team next season.”

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