Koeman set to stay at Barcelona and has already provided a transfer wishlist for 2021/22

Martin Macdonald
Koeman set to stay at Barcelona and has already provided a transfer wishlist for 2021/22

Ronald Koeman is set to remain in charge of Barcelona next season despite a tumultuous debut campaign in charge at the Camp Nou.

Following Barcelona’s embarrassing 8-2 Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich in the summer, head coach Quique Setien was sacked, with Koeman selected as his replacement.

READ MORE: Koeman: Barcelona have proved to Messi the future is bright

The Dutchman would struggle in the first half of the season, as they would drop points in eight La Liga matches before the turn of the year in a run which included losses against Getafe, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Cadiz.

However, the last time the Blaugrana actually lost in the league was that game against Cadiz at the start of December, and their form in 2021 has catapulted them back into the title race.

At the moment, they are second in the league ahead of Real Madrid in third, but four points adrift of Atletico in first.

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman

When Koeman was struggling, speculation mounted that he could be replaced at the end of the season or even sacked mid-season, with legendary former player Xavi seemingly poised to take over.

The drastic upturn in form, and the appointment of a new president in Joan Laporta, has seen things calm down a bit at the Camp Nou, though, and according to TV3, Koeman now has the backing of the board to take the club forward for at least another year.

Koeman’s plans for 2021/22

Not only does Koeman have the backing of the president and the board, but Mundo Deportivo reports that he is now taking an active role in transfer preparations for next season already.

Key to any preparations, of course, lies with the future of Lionel Messi and whether he will remain at the club or leave, having been long rumoured to be planning a free transfer at the expiration of his contract.

FootballTransfers previously detailed how Messi is closer to staying than leaving at the moment.

Koeman is not only desperate for Messi to sign a new deal, but Ousmane Dembele, too, who is enjoying some of his best form for the club since his big-money signing from Borussia Dortmund a few years ago.

In terms of incomings, the Dutchman remains keen on both Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum, both of whom he tried to sign in the summer.

Barcelona’s finances are currently ravaged due to their recent scattergun approach in the transfer market, as well as the pandemic drastically reducing matchday revenue.

As such they only made one signing in the summer in Sergino Dest, but both Depay and Wijnaldum are available on free transfers soon, which would represent an ideal scenario for Barca.

Should there be an unexpected injection of funds from somewhere, or if they decide to go further into their massive debt, Koeman would like to sign either Romelu Lukaku or Erling Haaland, but those targets remain unlikely ones for now.

In terms of a central defender, Eric Garcia remains on his wishlist after coming close to joining in January.