“Everyone knows it’s my dream to coach Barcelona” Ronald Koeman said, but the Dutchman remains focused on the Netherlands.
“I had a phone call [from Barca] as I have explained many times, but I want to keep my word with the national team, I thought this summer we would have Euro 2020,” Koeman said to Catalunya Radio.
Koeman, who underwent heart surgery in May, addressed speculation about Barca and his future: “I’m happy with how things are with the national team and for me at the moment that’s the most important thing. No one of us knows what’s going to happen in future.”
The former Barca defender Koeman previously revealed his contract with the Netherlands contains a clause allowing him to depart for Camp Nou after Euro 2020, although the European Championship was pushed back 12 months due to coronavirus:
“There is a clause in my contract that will allow me to leave work for the national team after the Euros but now is not the time to think about it. Everyone knows that Coaching Barca is my dream.
“Hopefully I may be able to do so in the future, but as always, that depends on your performance and success as a coach-you need a lot of experience to coach a team like Barca.”
Meanwhile, Dutch international midfielder Frenkie de Jong joined Barca at the start of the season from Eredivisie champions Ajax.
De Jong had scored two goals before the league’s suspension and provided as many assists in LaLiga.
Koeman said about him: “I think De Jong is a player who can adapt to a new midfield position, playing a little further, but I still think his best position is just in front of the back four-where [Sergio] Busquets plays. That’s his best position- where he’s playing for the national team and where he’s played with Ajax.
“It’s not a bad thing to adapt to other positions. He’s still just young and you’ve got to give young players time. He’ll be showing his quality with Barca in no time. He’s done that with Ajax and with the national team. I’m sure he’s the right Barca player. He knows he can do more, but he’s taking it all calmly because he’s happy at Barca.”
With the 2019-20 season postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LaLiga leaders Barca were two points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid.
“It’s really hard for me to say what I think about Barca,” said Koeman, who won four LaLiga titles during his time at Camp Nou and the European Cup / Champions League. “Barca is not the same today as [Pep] Guardiola, but it is still a fantastic team.”
After Ernesto Valverde was sacked, Koeman had been linked to Barca, before the LaLiga champions finally turned to Quique Setien in January.