There will be many changes in Barcelona this summer, but one area that remains constant is the coaching staff.
Ronald Koeman will return for a second season as coach, club president Joan Laporta confirmed Thursday. With Koeman, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, but was eliminated in the knockout stages of the Champions League by PSG and finished third in La Liga behind Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid despite having ample opportunities to take control in the final stretch of the Spanish. league career.
However, Koeman will return after speculation that Barça would go ahead. Club legend Xavi Hernández has long been linked to coaching work at Camp Nou, and various reports have suggested Laporta’s feelings about Koeman are rather tepid, but the Dutchman will return for the second year of his two-year contract. .
“After this period of reflection, Vice President Rafael Yuste and I have agreed that we will continue with the current contract that Ronald Koeman has,” Laporta said. “We are very pleased to see that these conversations have borne fruit in a unity of trial.”
Laporta has brought a new element to the club’s technical dealings by luring Jordi Cruyff, the son of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff, back into a role vaguely described as strategic. Jordi Cruyff has most recently been in China as coach of Shenzhen FC, which followed a brief stint as coach of the Ecuadorian national team during which he did not coach a single game (it happened during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic). However, his connection to the club and his experience in both the sporting and technical aspects of the game reinforce the staff at Barcelona’s headquarters.
The news on Thursday comes from the hand of two free transfers, with the incorporation of Sergio Agüero and Eric García from Manchester City, and the return of right-back Emerson from an extension on loan to Real Betis. Koeman’s continued presence may have something to do with the next two expected arrivals on free transfers: Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay. Koeman coached both of them during his time in charge of the Netherlands national team, and has been outspoken about his desire to bring Memphis, in particular, to Barcelona.
The two main questions that Barcelona still face this summer revolve around the future of Lionel Messi and which players give way to the large number of additions that have already arrived and will continue. The club remains heavily in debt, and the sale of some of its high-priced talents would go a long way toward liquidating some of it. Everything indicates that Messi, whose contract runs until the end of the month, will stay a year after declaring his intentions to leave. Despite Laporta’s promise after the end of the season that “it is the end of a cycle. We are entering a process of renewal. ”However, it seems that the coach and the iconic star will remain constant as the club progresses, all while the European coaching carousel spins in full force elsewhere.
More soccer coverage:
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.