Koeman rules himself out of Barcelona job

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Ronald Koeman says it is “not the right moment” for him to become head coach of Barcelona, insisting he is committed to his current role as Netherlands manager.

Koeman has been mooted as a potential replacement for under-fire Barca boss Ernesto Valverde, having spent time in Catalonia in his playing days between 1989 and 1995.

Pressure has mounted on Valverde after Barca were knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals by Liverpool by suffering a shock 4-0 defeat at Anfield, and they lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia on May 25.

But Koeman says he wants to continue in his job as the Dutch national coach through to the 2020 European Championships at least.

The former Everton boss only took over last year and has already led the Oranje to the Nations League finals.

Speaking ahead of his side’s semi-final against England on Thursday, Koeman told NOS: “I conformed myself to the KNVB. If you’ve done only one year and there’s one year left to the European Championships, it’s not the right moment.

“As far as I’m concerned, we can just put this speculation behind us.

“No matter what I say, there will always be people who say ‘if they [Barcelona] offer him a job, he will go anyway. The media will run those stories and I understand that.

“I know how I agreed this with the KNVB and for me, that’s enough.”

Koeman took charge of the Netherlands following their failed World Cup qualification campaign in 2018 and could take them to a final in Porto against either Portugal or Switzerland if his side get past England.

There is certainly plenty of potential in Koeman’s young squad.

A number of the national team’s stars featured in Ajax’s Champions League run as they knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the semi-finals, and it was only a last-minute Tottenham goal that denied the Amsterdam outfit a spot in the final.

Teenage centre-back Matthijs de Ligt has been tipped as one of the best emerging defenders in the world, while Frenkie de Jong has already secured a move to Camp Nou.

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