The decision is the result of a strange series that has been circulating in the Catalan capital in recent weeks. Laporta, Barcelona’s most important player since this spring, has so far refused to confirm Koeman’s survival, as he seriously searched for a candidate he considered more suitable. This research turned out to be fruitless, in part due to the Dutchman’s high transfer fee.
Talks between Laporta and Koeman changed the president’s mind. According to Spanish media, the coach had promised that Barcelona would “play again according to Johan Cruyff’s rules”, attacking football with a 4-3-3 formation. Last season, Koeman allowed the club to play with three defenders in a 3-4-2-1 squad.
Remarkably, Koeman may now extend his contract, until 2023, with an additional year if he succeeds in achieving certain goals. On the other hand, the coach must be satisfied with the salary reduction. FC Barcelona is currently living financially beyond its means and wants to reduce staff costs, including player costs.
It was essential for Koeman’s survival to support the club’s technical leadership. Vice President Rafael Yusti, Director of Football Matteo Alemani and Technical Secretary Ramon Blanes wanted to keep the coach, because in their opinion it was not a bad performance at all.
Last season, Koeman finished third with Barcelona, the lowest ranking in La Liga since 2008. But that sounds more dramatic than it actually was. When Koeman started his career in Catalonia, the club was going through a major sporting and financial crisis, after a turbulent summer in which loyal star Lionel Messi threatened to leave.
Now the club is in calmer waters. An added bonus for Koeman is that he won an award in his first season. Barcelona won the Spanish Cup. The boom of young talents like Pedri, Ansu Fati and scar Mingueza has also been endorsed by Catalan fans.
In addition to Koeman, assistant coaches Alfred Schroeder and Hendrik Larsson could also remain. In addition, Jordi Cruyff will return to the club. Barcelona wrote on their website that the 47-year-old former Barcelona player, son of club legend Johan, will play a “strategic role” in the board from 1 September. It is clear that he will deal with matters relating to football. Cruyff comes from the Chinese club Shenzhen.
His arrival coincides with Laporta’s electoral promise that Barcelona will pay more attention to the club’s “identity” in terms of politics. Cruijff Senior’s thoughts play an undeniable role in this. Laporta believes that under the rule of former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, the club of the so-called “Croifismo” has drifted away. He sees it as a priority to achieve transformation, however difficult it may be without a well-stocked portfolio.
With Cruyff – and the residence of Koeman and Schroeder – a small Dutch pocket was formed within FC Barcelona’s workforce. Sergino Dest, a US international but born and raised in Almere, Frenkie de Jong already plays for the Catalans.
Memphis Depay is also writing with Barcelona soon sport Thursday. According to the medium, negotiations between the striker and the club are as good as they have been completed and Koeman still only has to offer a yes. This sounds like a formality: The coach had already hoped for the arrival of Memphis in the previous transfer window. In addition, Georginio Wijnaldum is close to moving to the club.
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