La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit
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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman had some harsh words for club president Joan Laporta, as uncertainty persists about whether his spell in Catalonia will be extended beyond the end of this season. The Dutchman has had one of the toughest jobs in football during the past few months, with financial troubles forcing Barca into a difficult period of transformation.
With only one year remaining on his deal at the Camp Nou, it is unclear whether Koeman will still be in the dugout after 2022.
Koeman was a surprise appointment in 2020, and despite enjoying a fruitful spell with Barcelona as a player, his stint as a manager has not been smooth sailing.
Managers and club presidents have often endured fractious relationships at Barca over the years.
Koeman and Laporta are no different, although matters have improved between the pair recently.
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Nevertheless, Marca still quote the former Netherlands boss as saying: “My relationship with Laporta has improved, but last week something happened that I don’t think is right.
“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.
“I’m open to staying, I’m having a good time. Thanks to me, this club has a future.”
Koeman’s eagerness to claim credit seems curious for a manager who led his side to a third-place finish last campaign, although he is most likely referring to the club’s navigation through a tricky summer.
Backed into a corner by £1billion worth of debt and La Liga regulations, Barca were forced to bid an emotional farewell to club icon Lionel Messi.
In an effort to clear the wage bill, they were also forced to take a huge and humiliating loss on Antoine Griezmann, who re-joined Atletico Madrid.
So far this season, Koeman has more reason to throw modesty out of the window, with an unbeaten start after three games suggesting that there could be joy at the Camp Nou over the coming months.
Given the summer they have had, expectations must still be reigned in when it comes to achieving silverware this season.
That leaves Koeman in a curious predicament when it comes to earning a new deal at the side he starred for as a player, with all those involved at the club constantly learning where the new benchmark for success should lie.
An improved relationship with Laporta should do him no harm, and although he claims it is on the mend, such comments may put a strain on things going forward.
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