Barcelona

Exit clause in Barcelona legend’s contract suggests he could replace Ernesto Valverde at the end of the season

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave for Barcelona after 2020 Euros.

Holland manager Ronald Koeman’s name has been linked with the Catalan Giants for quite some time. Koeman, who has been managing his national side since February 2018 taking over from Dick Advocaat after his predecessor failed to help Holland qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has a clause in his contract that would allow him to depart the Orange after Euro 2020 if Barcelona came for him. The Dutch football chiefs however would be hoping for him to stay until the 2022 World Cup.

Koeman has always held a special place for Barcelona in his heart, having played for the Catalan club for six seasons and later spending two years as assistant to Louis van Gaal between 1998 and 2000. The former Everton manager has held an impressive record as a manager ever since taking over the Dutch national side leading them to the finals of the UEFA Nations League earlier this year and a poetic return to the club where he scored the winner against Sampdoria in the 1992 European Cup final could well take place after the Euro Championships get over.

Dutch Football Association director Nico-Jan Hoogma recently confirmed the presence of a clause in Koeman’s contract that would allow him to move to Camp Nou should they make an approach. Hoogma was talking on Good Morning Eredivisie on Fox Sports and was asked about the possibility of Koeman leaving for Barcelona next summer. “I hope that we can work together for a very long time, because I think it is going very well,” Nico-Jan Hoogma told FOX Sports NL.

“But Ronald has long indicated that he wants to be a Barcelona coach someday. Let’s see what will happen. Success at Oranje will certainly help him, just like everyone else helps us. But again: I hope the trajectory continues up to and including the World Cup in Qatar,” Hoogma added. On being asked whether there was a specific Barcelona clause in Koeman’s contract, Hoogma replied, “Agreements have been made about that. They have to pay for that.”

There is no current indication that Barcelona would be looking to get rid of Ernesto Valverde at the end of the season, but his future will most certainly depend on the team’s successes in the current season. The Blaugrana currently sit on top the La Liga table with 19 points in 8 games with Real Madrid breathing down their necks behind by just one point. Koeman’s contract with the Dutch national side expires in 2022 while Valverde’s current deal runs until the end of 2019-20 with the option of another season.

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