FC Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has spoken out about the club's recent issues involving Lionel Messi. Koeman insisted that there's no conflict between him and Messi. His comments came in following the club legend's recent decision to stay with the Spanish side.
Messi has now entered the final season of his contract with Barca. It's expected that the club would offer him a fresh contract next year. But it remains to be seen if the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will choose to finish his career with the club where he spent his entire career so far.
Koeman was brought in to replace Quique Setien after Barcelona's poor season. He said that any conflict that exists is between Messi and the club. The 57-year old Dutchman stated that he and Messi have spoken numerous times ever since the Argentine announced his intention to stay at Camp Nou.
In a recent interview, the former Netherlands national team coach said, "That has passed me reasonably well. That was mainly a conflict between Messi and the club. I have spoken to Messi since then and we will continue as usual. We are now working towards the new season and I assume that we are going to do it with this group with which we are doing the preparation."
Last month, following Barca's 2-8 humiliation against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League, Messi had informed his club about his desire to leave for free. The 2019-20 season was a frustrating campaign for the Catalans as they failed to win any trophies. Later, the 33-year old Argentine took a U-turn and decided to stay at the club.
According to Goal, part of Messi's desire to leave Barcelona resulted from the club's poor recruitment tactics in recent seasons. Barca has failed to replace club legends like Xavi and Andres Iniesta, and that has reflected in the team's recent performances.
This summer, Barcelona has been linked with a lot of names, but Koeman admitted that his side will begin the new season with the very squad he currently has. Among the many names that have been recently linked to Barca include Lyon's Memphis Depay. Koeman had coached Depay when he was in charge of the Netherlands national team.
But according to reports, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said that Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu told him personally that the Spanish giants don't have enough funds to make an offer.