A war of words has erupted between FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman and midfielder Miralem Pjanic. The latter was sent off on loan to Turkish side Besiktas at the last minute this summer, after the club failed to find a suitable buyer.

Last week, Pjanic made it clear that he was not happy during the season he spent at Barcelona under the Dutch manager. After joining the Catalan giants from Juventus in 2020, the Bosnia international had a season to forget which was mostly spent on the bench.

Barcelona tried to broker a deal to send him back to Juventus, but when that fell through, he was shipped off to Turkey. Controversially, he told Spanish publication Marca, "Koeman disrespected me," while also claiming that the manager had a strange method of communicating with him.

"You need confidence and dialogue and things to be said to your face. That never happened.," he said. "I'd have liked him to have told me to my face that he didn't want me. He doesn't speak to you and I don't understand it."

Now, Koeman has responded, and there was nothing cryptic about his comment. "In terms of how we play, our ideas with and without the ball, he's fallen short of other midfielders," said Koeman, while admitting that he understands why the player is frustrated.

The manager further explained that he simply had better options in his roster. "That's it. I wish him all the best. It's been complicated, but we tried and we saw that there are other players who are better than him."

Pjanic won't be pleased to hear what Koeman said, as others speculated that the Bosnian's playing style does not suit Barcelona. After spending a large part of his career in Italy, Pjanic is more accustomed to the slower pace of Serie A football. However, he said that if Koeman spoke to him about the necessary adjustments, he could have done his best to do what was required of him. For now, it appears as though that relationship is ruined, and it remains to be seen what happens next summer when the player is due to return.

Miralem Pjanic
Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic arrives at Juventus' Continassa training ground in Turin Marco BERTORELLO/AFP