Sports

Barca deny Koeman sacking has been discussed

Barcelona vice president Eduard Romeu has said firing Ronald Koeman has not been discussed and denied that money would be a problem if the club did want to sack the coach.

Barca’s 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich in midweek has once again brought Koeman’s future into the spotlight after president Joan Laporta toyed with the idea of getting rid of him in the summer.

Laporta decided to stick with Koeman after what he called a “period of reflection,” with sources telling ESPN at the time that the cost of sacking the Dutch coach and the lack of credible alternatives weighed in his favour.

Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
ESPN+ viewer’s guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more

However, the heavy defeat to Bayern in the Champions League, which came days after Koeman complained about Laporta “speaking too much,” has led to renewed reports in the local media about the manager’s job security.

“The political answer is it has not been discussed and the real one is that it is not a money problem,” Romeu said in a news conference on Thursday when asked if Barca’s financial problems prevented them removing Koeman. “But there’s nothing happening. There’s nothing going on.

“Koeman’s a good person. When the president and the board decide that he’s staying on, the commitment [to him] and the support is total, knowing that we are going through a complicated moment in which we have to rebuild the team.

“Losing to Bayern was something that was in the equation. It was the worst opponent at the worst moment. We had several players injured, we were playing against a consolidated side, the game came just after the international break… It makes us angry, but it was something that could have happened.”

Koeman and Laporta have both insisted that their relationship is fine but tensions have spilled into the media in recent weeks. Laporta intimated Koeman didn’t have complete control of playing issues, which led the coach to complain in an interview with the Dutch media.

“Something happened that I don’t think is right,” Koeman told NOS. “[Laporta] was suggesting that the coach doesn’t have all the power. He spoke too much and was not wise.”

Previously, Koeman has said he was upset by Laporta’s behaviour in the summer, too, when he created uncertainty around his future at the club.

Koeman’s contract runs until the end of the season but sources have told ESPN there are some board members that are unsure it would be wise to keep him in place until then.

Laporta doesn’t want to make a reactionary decision, with sources pointing out to ESPN he has never fired a coach midseason across his two spells as Barca president. Frank Rijkaard left at the end of the 2007-08 season.

However, the Bayern result led to nerves among the board regarding Barca’s prospects this season. Sources told ESPN it took Jordi Cruyff, who returned to the club in an advisory role this summer, to calm things down and offer some perspective.

Sources have also told ESPN that money is no longer a hurdle in terms of paying Koeman off, as confirmed by Romeu, but the lack of options available to replace him remains a problem.

During the election campaign earlier this year, Laporta, a big fan of the German school of coaching, sounded out Julian Nagelsmann and Hansi Flick, but both had already agreed to take on new jobs with Bayern Munich and Germany respectively.

Elsewhere, former midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who is coaching Al-Sadd in Qatar, remains a candidate. It is an option Laporta’s ex-brother-in-law, Alejandro Echevarria, an influential figure around the Catalan club, is particularly keen on.

Cruyff, meanwhile, who is working in collaboration with sporting directors Mateu Alemany and Ramon Planes, would champion Roberto Martinez, who has a contract with Belgium taking him up to the World Cup in 2022.

Most Related Links :
honestcolumnist Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button