'We threw away the league' - Koeman's future at Barcelona looking doomed as president Laporte announces changes are imminent

Barca are out of the La Liga title race and were smashed by PSG in Champions League

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and coach Ronald Koeman after the Celta Vigo defeat. Reuters
Barcelona's Lionel Messi and coach Ronald Koeman after the Celta Vigo defeat. Reuters

Ronald Koeman's future at Barcelona appeared to be nearing an end as president Joan Laporta said changes are imminent as they approach the end of a disappointing season.

Barca can at best finish third in La Liga, having seen their former forward Luis Suarez fire Atletico Madrid towards the title while they have toiled for large parts of the campaign with arch rivals Real Madrid also above them.

They won the Copa del Rey but were knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 by Paris Saint-Germain.

Koeman's future has been up for debate in recent weeks, with the club's revered former midfielder Xavi heavily linked to the post.

Speaking at a Catalan Sports Festival, Laporta, who returned for a second spell in charge at the Camp Nou in March, said that decisions on the future will be made shortly.

Barca's La Liga challenge was finally ended in the home defeat by Celta Vigo on Sunday, and Laporte said: "I said I'd review things with the team at the end of the season, in terms of how they played and the results.

Barca 1-2 Celta Vigo: La Liga hopes ended

"We won the Copa del Rey and are very proud of that, but we were knocked out of the Champions League very early on and threw away the league in an incomprehensible way in my point of view.

"From next week, you'll see a series of decisions taken that need to be made and we'll announce them. When I talk about it being the end of a cycle or renewals that are needed it's because I think that's what we need to do."

Koeman is not the only figure at Barca whose future is up in the air, with club great and record goalscorer Lionel Messi's contract up next month and no new agreement in place.

However, there was better news for Laporte when it was revealed he had secured the club a loan worth €500 million ($611.5m) from investment bank Goldman Sachs, according to reports.

Barca have been facing a financial meltdown with debts of €1.173 billion. There have been concerns over whether the club would be able to both pay their players and recruit new talent in the summer.

According to Catalan daily L'Esportiu, the club obtained the loan on Tuesday morning, with the money likely going towards refinancing part of the debt, easing the short-term pressure on the club hierarchy.

Updated: May 19, 2021 11:54 PM


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