“If all goes well, Koeman will be the coach who will oversee the team and the players under a different program,” Bartomeu said in an interview with the club’s official network.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 18, 2020
Koeman’s appointment will be the third stage of the club’s restructuring, which began with coach Quique Setien sacked on Monday and continued on Tuesday after sporting director Eric Abidal agreed to terminate his contract.
Koeman, 57, arrived in Barcelona today after spending the morning at the headquarters of the Dutch Football Association to negotiate the termination of his contract with his country, which he has led since 2018 and contributed to his qualification for the European Championship 2020.
🔵🔴 ÚLTIMA HORA del @fcbarcelona_es
🛬 Ronald Koeman YA ESTÁ en Barcelona.
🕒 Acaba de aterrizar en el aeropuerto de El Prat.
📍 Trabajadores del club le han recogido.
📲 Se espera anuncio oficial en las próximas horas. pic.twitter.com/mlMD03YLtZ
— Radio MARCA (@RadioMARCA) August 18, 2020
Barcelona fans remember Coman fondly for the role he played in the highly successful Johan Cruyff team known as the “Dream Team”, and for scoring the only goal against Sampdoria in the 1992 European Cup Final.
The Dutch defender later became an assistant coach in Barcelona before starting an eventful career as a coach, having previously coached Ajax, Eindhoven and Feyenoord in the Netherlands, as well as Southampton and Everton in the Premier League and Valencia in the Spanish League.
Bartomeu added, “We are betting on him because we know him well, and we know how he thinks and how the clubs he coaches play, but also because of his experience and because he was part of the dream team with Johan, as he knows Barcelona and understands the way the team plays.”
Bartomeu indicated that captain Messi will not leave the club, and he will be part of the team under Coman.
The president of the Catalan club added, “Messi wants to end his career in Barcelona, and he said that several times before. I spoke with Coman about him, and he told me that Messi would be a main pillar in his project.”
“Messi has a contract until 2021, I talk to him and his father regularly, and they know that we have a strong project and that the new coach will come and depend on him,” he said.
Bartomeu – who announced yesterday that the club’s presidential elections will take place in March 2021, that is, 3 months before its scheduled date – defended his management of the club, after he faced calls to resign after the defeat by Bayern.
He added, “We suffer from a sporting crisis, but not an institutional one. We suffered a very negative result in the Champions League, but the club is in a good position, both socially and financially.”