?Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that a ‘Barcelona release clause’ in his current contract only becomes active after next summer’s European Championships.
The 56-year-old only took charge of the Oranje last February but he’s already made a lasting impression during his 18 games in the dugout, helping to rebuild his reputation at club level after dissapointing spells at Southampton and Everton.
KNVB director Nico-Jan Hoogma confirmed last month that there was a clause in Koeman’s contract which would allow him to join Barcelona, but the Netherlands boss has since added that it will only become active after Euro 2020.
“There is an evaluation moment after the European Championship,” Koeman said, quoted by Dutch outlet NOS. “I can leave for one club, that is also stated in the clause. I can also say that I am not leaving for another club.”
Koeman’s contract with the Netherlands doesn’t run out until after the World Cup in 2022, but he’s admitted that it is a long-term dream of his to return to Barcelona – he made 252 appearances for the club as a player – as manager.
Although Koeman only shed some light on the release clause in his contract with the Netherlands, he did admit he was surprised to hear KNVB director Hoogma reveal that there was a way for Barcelona to appoint him.
“A slip of the tongue. Nico-Jan thought everyone was aware of it,” he added. “There were all kinds of reactions, including from Spain. I wasn’t waiting for that. We talked about it. I’m not angry.”
Koeman might only available after Euro 2020, but Barcelona will likely already be lining up a move for the Netherlands manager as Ernesto Valverde continues to feel the pressure at the Camp Nou.
Barça took the lead in their most recent La Liga match against Levante, but after conceding three goals in seven minutes after the break – including one from Real Madrid striker Borja Mayoral – the reigning champions have thrown away their three-point lead at the top of the table.
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