'Thanks to me, Barcelona has a future' - Koeman

Martin Macdonald
Ronald Koeman, Barcelona, Primera Division

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman believes the club's future is looking positive because of his tenure at Camp Nou.

With the Dutchman in charge, the Blaugrana have only won the Copa del Rey, but there has been a group of young players who have flourished such as Pedri, Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo.

Ilaix Moriba, too, was just showing glimpses of his massive talent before a contract stalemate forced Barcelona to sell him to RB Leipzig.

Koeman has been in charge through one of the toughest periods in the club's history, too, as financial uncertainty and new La Liga regulations on player wages has seen Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann leave for Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid.

The squad is now significantly weaker than it has been over the last decade, but Koeman says there is cause for positivity for the future - because of him.

"I'm open to staying, I'm having a good time. Thanks to me, this club has a future," he said to NOS.

"It's not just Pedri. There are still four or five players aged 18 or 19 who will be fantastic players for this club in three or four years."

Koeman and Laporta

Last week, reports emerged that Koeman had been told by Barcelona president Joan Laporta that he must give more minutes to Riqui Puig and Samuel Umtiti, as well as continue to play the club's favoured formation of a 4-3-3.

Koeman has spoken of his discontent at these reports and said Laporta had spoken out of turn.

"My relationship with Laporta has improved, but last week something happened that I don't think is right," the Dutchman explained.

"He was suggesting that the coach doesn't have all the power. He spoke too much and was not wise on two occasions.

"That can be done in private. I like it when a president is engaged and asks questions, it just shouldn't happen in the press. That was the problem.

"Starting with the president, I have the feeling that everyone was completely behind me. [Also] the players, the rest of the staff and the other members of the board."