Bartomeu: Ronald Koeman Will be Barcelona’s New Manager

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Ronald Koeman has agreed in principle to become Barcelona manager and club president Josep Bartomeu says he expects the Dutchman to be in charge next season.

The 57-year-old, who is currently in charge of the Netherlands, is set to join the La Liga runners-up this week.

Speaking on Tuesday night, Bartomeu said: “Koeman is the one we’ve chosen. If nothing goes wrong he will be the head coach next season.”

Former Netherlands and Barca defender Koeman flew to Barcelona on Tuesday to finalise a deal with the club.

There have been rumours that the team’s star Lionel Messi could leave but Bartomeu said: “Messi wants to end his career at Barca, he has said that many times.

“I have spoken with Koeman and the pillar of our project is Messi.

“He has a contract until 2021, I speak a lot with Leo and more regularly with his father.

“He is number one in the world. There is no doubt that in Koeman’s new project you can count on Messi.”

But the president added that the club would have to sell players.

“There is money but Covid-19 has reduced income so we have to reduce payroll to be able to bring in new footballers,” he said.

“We’re talking about a generation of players that have won everything,” he said. “I congratulate them for that but now it’s time to say an honourable farewell to some of them.

“We will speak with them first out of respect. They have been legends so they have to go in the right way, but there are conversations that need to happen.”

Barca have already dismissed technical manager Eric Abidal as the club’s backroom purge continues, although Bartomeu looks set to stay on through at least March, when the club will hold its next presidential election.

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