Ronald Koeman criticises Barcelona bosses and admits he might not be in charge next season

Dutchman looks set for Camp Nou exit with Xavi reported to be in running to take over as manager

It remains to be seen whether Ronaldo Koeman or Lionel Messi will still be at Barcelona next season. Getty
It remains to be seen whether Ronaldo Koeman or Lionel Messi will still be at Barcelona next season. Getty

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman looks to be heading for the Camp Nou exit after criticising the club for not giving him enough support and admitting he does not know whether he will be in charge next season.

Club president Joan Laporta told the media this week that changes were imminent, with local media reporting that former midfielder Xavi Hernandez had been approached to replace the Dutchman.

Koeman refused to answer questions about this future after last week's disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Celta Vigo that meant the best Barca could finish this season was third, behind league leaders Atletico Madrid and arch-rivals Real Madrid.

"In the last month you need to respect your coach and players more. Things have come out in the press and they don't deserve that kind of treatment, things should be done differently," Koeman told a news conference on Friday.

"I know there's a lot of pressure here and I accept this, but sometimes I think in this country there's much more of a culture with the media getting involved with a coach's future, which I think is disrespectful.

"In the last part of the season I've not felt the support of the club. We've not spoken about the future. There's been times when I've had to be a spokesman for the club and that should be noted," he said.

"I know we need to make changes in order to win trophies and if that means a new coach or players then fine; but it needs to be communicated.

"I don't know if I will continue as coach, to be honest. I've not spoken with the president."

Barca player ratings for Celta Vigo defeat

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona's final La Liga game of the season against Eibar on Saturday in order to "enjoy a rest" before the Copa America.

The Argentine, who is still in contract negotiations with Barcelona, was given permission to miss training on Friday by Koeman and, with the club now out of the title race, will not play on Saturday.

Messi, 33, has already played 47 matches this season for Barca, scoring 38 goals, but his future at the club remains in doubt as he has been linked with a move to Manchester City where he could join up with former managerPep Guardiola.

"The striker can enjoy a rest before next month's Copa America after a season in which he is one of the players in the squad who has played most," Barcelona said in a statement.

Published: May 21, 2021 05:04 PM


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