Everton manager Ronald Koeman "deserves" to manage Barcelona, according to Frank de Boer. The Dutchman is a legend in Catalonia having enjoyed a trophy-laden spell at the Camp Nou between 1989 and 1995, and De Boer says it is his former team-mate's "dream" to stand on the touchline as manager of the Blaugrana.

Koeman has two-and-a-half years left to run on his current deal with Everton but has been heavily linked with succeeding Luis Enrique at Barcelona in recent weeks.

Former Ajax boss De Boer, who played with Koeman for Holland, believes his compatriot is worthy of being Barca manager because of the fine work he has done at Goodison Park and Southampton.

"Normally I think he is (at clubs) for the long term, but maybe in his contract if he gets a call from Barcelona then he can go because that is always his dream," De Boer told Goal.

"I think he also mentioned it a lot of times that when Barcelona come calling it would be fantastic. He would deserve it because he is doing well and he also did well with Southampton. But hopefully for Everton he doesn't get a call and he will stick there for a couple of years, like he did at Southampton."

Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman Getty Images

Rumours may persist over his long-term future but at the moment Koeman is trying to qualify for Europe with Everton. The Toffees are currently seven points behind sixth-placed Manchester United but De Boer, who also had a spell at Barcelona, believes they are capable of finishing "third, fourth or fifth" under his old ally.

"There is still a gap between them and sixth place but hopefully they can fight back to come maybe third, fourth or fifth because Liverpool are not doing that well right now," added De Boer. "Hopefully they can catch them up. He has brought structure. He is a very good trainer, technical-wise too. He had a little bit of difficulty in the beginning but now they have their confidence back and they have a really good team."

Everton are currently travelling to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp as they look to make the most of their free weekend. Barcelona stalwart Koeman will hope his players make the most of their trip around the world and ensure it was a worthwhile expedition when they host struggling Sunderland on February 25.