Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic has joined Turkish club Besiktas on a year-long loan from FC Barcelona. The Catalan giants had aggressively searched for a new club for him throughout the summer, but only managed to finalise a deal this week.
Pjanic has largely been quiet throughout the transfer saga, but now that he won't be playing at the Camp Nou this season, he has decided to let his real feelings out. In an exclusive interview with Spanish publication Marca, Pjanic made some less than flattering comments about Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman.
First, he admitted that he didn't expect to find himself in a complicated situation when he joined the Catalan giants from Juventus last year. "It was always my goal to play for a club like Barcelona, but I didn't expect such a complicated situation," he said, before stating the obvious that he found his first season to be less than ideal.
"I couldn't accept a situation like what I had last year. It was clear that I couldn't do that. I'm a footballer who likes to play, and that's what makes me happy," he said, referring to the limited game time he had under Koeman.
He said that he had a lot of expectations and was confident that he was going to do well, but blamed Koeman for his underwhelming first season at Barcelona. "I was ready to take this step after nine years in Italy, I wanted a challenge and it was the right moment. But then I found a coach that, I don't know..."
He said that he attempted to communicate with Koeman to find out what he can do to be able to contribute more to the squad, but Koeman did not give him answers. "It was a very odd way of communicating and it's the first time I've ever experienced this. I've had a very good relationship with all of my coaches. I don't know what happened, I honestly don't know. He didn't want responsibility or confrontation, because I guess that couldn't be handled," he said.
"It was tough physically and mentally and it killed my confidence because I had no communication with him. It was very strange," he said before confirming that he felt disrespected by Koeman.
Pjanic didn't hold back and continued to speak about the way Koeman treated him last season, making it clear that he felt it was personal. "I was always respectful with him and my teammates. He had a cross against me from the beginning. It was hard to accept."
He said that he approached Koeman numerous times, but the coach always told him that nothing was wrong, but his minutes kept dwindling. "I didn't understand. He's a very, very strange coach. It's the first time I've seen someone like this."
In the end, Pjanic said that he does not regret signing for Barcelona. He just thinks he had some bad luck with the coach, and now he is focused on starting his season with Besiktas. What happens after this season will be a question for another time.