Ronald Koeman Says Barcelona Job ‘A Possibility’ After UEFA Euro 2020 | Bleacher Report
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Ronald Koeman is open to the idea of managing Barcelona, but only after overseeing the Netherlands complete their campaign at UEFA Euro 2020.
Koeman, who represented Barca brilliantly as a player, spoke about a scenario where he would replace Ernesto Valverde in the dugout at the Camp Nou. The 56-year-old called the idea “a possibility, but only after Euro 2020,” per MailOnline’s Nathan Salt.
At the moment, Koeman is focused on the job with his country: “I don’t know if I’ll keep (talking about the Barcelona role) in the future because it’s a bit strange to speak about the possibility of going to the club while you’re the Netherlands coach.”
Koeman’s job will continue with Saturday’s game against Northern Ireland. The Netherlands sit atop Group C in the qualifiers with Koeman reviving the squad following a failure to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Part of the turnaround has hinged on his ability to get the most out of underrated talents including Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum:
Barca would be hoping for a similar impact given how inconsistent results have been under Valverde. The latter has won back-to-back La Liga titles, as well as the 2018 Copa del Rey.
Those triumphs have been counterbalanced by some significant setbacks, most notably blowing a 3-0 first-leg lead to lose 4-3 to Liverpool in the semi-final of last season’s UEFA Champions League.
Barca have been linked with Marcelo Gallardo as a potential replacement, but the River Plate chief has played down the talk, telling Globo Esporte (h/t Football Espana): “No one has contacted me about anything (related to Barcelona).”
Koeman may make a more realistic target since he has an agreement with the national setup regarding interest from Barcelona. Dutch FA director Nico-Jan Hoogma told Fox Sports (h/t Oli Gamp of MailOnline) in October how Koeman could leave his post after the tournament if Barca were to meet a clause in his contract.
This is not the first time Koeman has left the door ajar regarding taking charge at the club where he once thrived as a member of the ‘Dream Team’ assembled by the late, great Johan Cruyff.
However, Koeman is steeped in the footballing tradition at Barca, where he won the European Cup as a cultured defender in 1992.