Barca pres fires warning about Koeman’s future


The future of Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman doesn’t depend on the result of Thursday night’s game at Cadiz, club president Joan Laporta has said, while warning that “if decisions have to be taken, we’ll take them.”

Koeman has come under intense pressure since last week’s 3-0 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, which was followed by an unconvincing 1-1 home LaLiga draw with Granada at Camp Nou on Monday.

Sources have told ESPN that Barca are exploring options to replace Koeman, but the lack of available alternatives has prevented the club from acting hastily.

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“Koeman’s future doesn’t depend on the result tonight,” Laporta told El Chiringuito on Thursday, speaking outside the team hotel in Cadiz. “We are with the coach. He’s Barca’s first team coach and what we want is for things to go well.

“All coaches, not just Koeman, depend on results, and in Barca’s case on their style of play. Koeman is our coach and we’re with him today.”

Koeman refused to answer questions from the media in his prematch news conference on Wednesday, choosing instead to read a prepared statement in which he asked for “time” and “unconditional backing” for the team “in words and in actions.”

Laporta considered sacking Koeman this summer, sounding out possible candidates including the now Germany coach Hansi Flick and Belgium‘s Roberto Martinez.

The pair’s relationship has suffered further since, with board frustration growing over the team’s results, performances and Koeman’s outspoken interviews in the Dutch media.

“We see that the team isn’t working as we all were hoping,” Laporta said on Thursday. “In that sense, we’ll act thinking always of Barcelona… If decisions have to be taken, we’ll take them.”

“What I don’t like is a conformist attitude, a certain defeatism, that can’t be allowed at Barcelona,” he added. “We have the team we have, but we can aspire to win LaLiga and the players say to me that we have to be optimistic, we have to work, we have to fight every day, because I believe you achieve success with daily work. Less talking and more doing, more working.”

Barca have won two and drawn two of their four LaLiga games so far this season but are facing a tough fixture list over the next month, with successive games against Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Real Madrid in October.

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