By Mukwuzi Joseph
Joan Laporta has confirmed that Ronald Koeman will stay as Barcelona boss for the 2021-22 campaign with the Dutchman offered a lifeline following a poor debut campaign.
The former Everton and Southampton boss took over from Quique Setien last summer following their embarrassing 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and was tasked with wrestling LaLiga back off Real Madrid.
However, Barca were eclipsed by Athletico Madrid to the Spanish title and crashed out of Europe in the last-16, leading to speculation regarding Koeman’s future. The Catalonians won the Copa del Rey under the Dutchman.
But Barca chief Laporta confirmed on Thursday that Koeman would stay on after a meeting with the club’s board of directors.
‘I’d like to announce that, after a period of reflection, we have decided to continue with Koeman,’ Laporta said.
Koeman has another year left on his contract, but Laporta had said the club was considering whether to keep him in charge after the disappointing season.
The Dutchman’s lifeline means he will be given a chance to turn things around at the Nou Camp, with the club needing a big summer to close the gap on their Spanish rivals as well as to make headway in Europe.
Barca have already moved to secure the free signings of Manchester City duo Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero.
Garcia, a Barcelona academy product, has long been yearning for a return to Spain while Aguero’s arrival has been on the cards for some time.