Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted that he has told manager Ronald Koeman that he is not his first choice and will be looking for a replacement.
Laporta, who won the presidency midway through the season, was speaking at his first press conference since taking over for the second time.
He was asked about the future of Koeman, who was an appointment of the previous regime and had a tough season despite winning the Copa del Rey.
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“Yes, I told Koeman that you are not my favourite coach, give me time to find an alternative and if I don’t find one - you can continue.”
Laporta added that he will meet the Dutchman next week to discuss his future, Antonio Conte is currently available following his resignation from Inter Milan whilst former midfielder Xavi Hernandez is also thought to be an option.
The other hot topic aside from the manager is the future of star player Lionel Messi. The Argentine is out of contract at the end of the season and had a very public fall out with the previous regime.
Messi has a far better relationship with Laporta, who has said that an offer is coming soon and he hopes that the forward will stay with the team.
“Leo Messi loves the club and he’s excited by the project, we’ll make our bid soon within our possibilities. I’m moderately optimistic.
We’re progressing in talks to extend Leo Messi’s contract but it’s not done or signed yet. Messi wants Barcelona, he loves the club.
Laporta also called for patience from fans as he and his team make their way through the debt the club is currently saddled with and reiterated the club’s commitment to the European Super League.
He also discussed the renovations to Camp Nou saying that for a little while they will have to play elsewhere and are talking to the city authorities about using the Olympic stadium.
OUR VIEW – Why is it taking so long?
Why is everything at Barcelona taking so long?
Why is it the first press conference Laporta has done since taking over in March? Why is it the first time he’s been available to reporters to talk about the failed European Super League breakaway attempt?
Why has the future of Ronald Koeman not been decided yet? Is it really because they haven’t lined up a successor?
You have to feel for Koeman, he gave up a job managing his country to help the team he loves. His reward is a disastrous time off the pitch and now his job is in this weird state of limbo.
Who they appoint next will be fascinating. If it was to be Xavi you would have thought it would be done already, so are they waiting for Conte? Or someone else entirely?
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