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The Dutch coach admits talk of a return to the Catalans isn’t ideal and he’s not worried whether the club comes calling or not
Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman dismissed speculation linking him to La Liga champions Barcelona.
Koeman has emerged as a possible option for Barca should Ernesto Valverde leave, with the Dutchman’s Netherlands contract containing a clause that would allow him to depart for Camp Nou following Euro 2020.
The 56-year-old spent six years at Barca as a player before later having a spell as Louis van Gaal’s assistant from 1998 to 2000.
Koeman, however, is focused on his job with the Netherlands ahead of next year’s European Championship.
“I have two more years left on my contract with the [Dutch] national team and I do not like to talk about Barcelona,” Koeman said at an event in Barcelona.
“It’s uncomfortable for a lot of reasons; I currently have a job and it’s not fair to talk about this.
“If they come, they come; and if they don’t, they don’t. There are more important things [to worry about] in life.”
The Netherlands are in Group C for Euro 2020, alongside Ukraine, Austria and a play-off winner. Koeman’s side will open their campaign at home to Ukraine in Amsterdam on June 14.
Koeman made 264 appearances in six seasons for Barcelona during his stellar playing career.
He won 10 major honours in that time, including four La Liga titles and the 1992 European Cup, when he scored the winning goal against Sampdoria at Wembley.
Shortly after retiring, Koeman spent two years as Barca assistant to Louis van Gaal between 1998 and 2000, but has always eyed a return to the dugout as a manager.
Koeman’s managerial career to date has taken in spells at the likes of Ajax, Benfica, Valencia, PSV and Everton, before he signed a four-and-a-half year contract to become Netherlands coach in February 2018.
While he’s since distanced himself from a return to Barcelona, Koeman did concede last month that it could happen after the Euros .
“[Joining Barcelona] is a possibility, but only after Euro 2020,” Koeman told a news conference.
“I don’t know if I’ll keep [talking about the Barcelona job] in the future because it’s a bit strange to speak about the possibility of going to the club while you’re the Netherlands coach.”