April 20, 2021

Koeman: Ugly for Dutch FA but Barcelona job is a dream come true

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The Dutchman, who enjoyed a memorable spell in Catalunya as a player, is being lined up to fill a void created by Quique Setien’s dismissal

Ronald Koeman admits a sudden managerial opening at Barcelona puts the Dutch FA in an “ugly” position, as he prepares to sever ties with the Netherlands national team, but coaching at Camp Nou is “a dream come true” for the former Blaugrana star.

Quique Setien’s dismissal in Catalunya means that a prominent coaching post is once again in need of filling.

Koeman was considered to be among the frontrunners to take that job when Barca took the decision to part with Ernesto Valverde in January.

He admitted to having an exit clause with the KNVB that would allow him to leave for the Liga heavyweights, but at that stage his focus was locked on chasing down Euro 2020 glory.

With that event pushed back 12 months by the coronavirus pandemic, Koeman has been denied the opportunity to lead his country into a major international tournament.

The 57-year-old has also seen the Barcelona option put to him once more, with a man who spent six memorable years with the club as a player conceding that such an opportunity is too good to turn down.

Koeman told FOX Sports as a contract at Camp Nou is thrashed out: “I didn’t expect things to go so fast, and it is not the best timing.

“It took me by surprise as well but Barcelona is the only club for which I had a release clause in my contract. It’s ugly for the Dutch FA (KNVB) but not unexpected.”

Barca have yet to confirm that an agreement is in place with Koeman.

Until everything is signed off, the former Ajax and Everton boss is reluctant to speculate on what the future could hold for him back in familiar surroundings.

Koeman added to NOS: “You never know what could happen. With all due respect, there’s nothing I can say at this point.

“I would really like it [taking charge of Barcelona], but this is not the moment. There is no clarity yet. But, yeah, I would be open to it.

“Nothing is done until everything’s been signed. Nothing is certain until there is a complete agreement. If it happens, it would be a dream come true.”

Koeman has been in charge of the Dutch national side since February 2018, overseeing 11 wins from 20 games at the helm and delivering a runners-up finish in the 2019 UEFA Nations League.