‘They called me and I said no’: Ronald Koeman admits he REJECTED chance to manage former side Barcelona after Ernesto Valverde’s sacking
- Ronald Koeman told MARCA he rejected a move to Barcelona in January
- Barcelona eventually hired Quique Setien to replace Ernesto Valverde as boss
- And Netherlands boss Koeman was unwilling to join them so close to Euro 2020
Ronald Koeman has admitted he turned down the opportunity to manage Barcelona earlier this year due to his commitments to the Netherlands.
The Catalan club sacked Ernesto Valverde in January, and after lining up a whole host of candidates chose Quique Setien as his successor.
Former Barcelona star Koeman was among those shortlisted, along with legendary midfielder Xavi, as well as former Tottenham and Juventus bosses Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri.
Ronald Koeman has admitted he rejected the chance to become Barcelona boss in January
Barcelona had lined up a series of candidates to replace the sacked Ernesto Valverde
But in an interview with Spanish outlet MARCA, the Dutchman admitted he was reluctant to leave so close to Euro 2020.
When asked if Barcelona had called him to replace Valverde, Koeman said: ‘They called me and I said no, because of the commitment I have with the national team of my country.
‘After two years there is an opportunity to continue, I have two and two, that is to say that after the Euros it is time to evaluate. Two years for each tournament. I cannot leave the Netherlands three months before a competition.’
However, the former Everton boss denied that he turned down the job because it was too risky, and admits he is still fond of the Spanish city and failed to rule out a possible return.
The Catalan club eventually opted for former Real Betis boss Quique Setien as his replacement
‘No, I don’t think it was a bad time. What happens is that I have my reasons with Holland.
‘Barcelona can always win big things, they have very good players, the options of being able to sign the best footballers. If I had been without a job, of course, everyone likes Barcelona.
‘It does not matter the moment you are in or the situation you are going through. There, in Barcelona, I lived my best stage as a footballer and I am very fond of the city. So I hope I can be a coach for the Barcelona team one day.
And Netherlands boss Koeman admitted he was unwilling to join them so close to Euro 2020