Barcelona: Koeman on Messi's future after defeat
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Barcelona president Joan Laporta has agreed three signings with Ronald Koeman ahead of the summer transfer window, reports say. The Catalan giants are currently flying high, sitting second in the La Liga table. But they know they require investment if they’re to establish themselves as a Champions League force again.
Barcelona have recently been resurgent.
Koeman looked a man in trouble after the club’s 4-1 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in February, a night where Lionel Messi was upstaged by Kylian Mbappe.
But Barcelona have turned things around since then, winning six of their last eight matches across all competitions.
And, now, OkDiario say Laporta has pledged to back Koeman at the end of the campaign.
It’s claimed the Barcelona pair have come to an agreement over three signings in the forms of Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Garcia came through the La Liga giants’ ranks before leaving for Manchester City and is determined to seal a dream return to the Nou Camp.
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And he fuelled speculation over a potential switch by admitting earlier this week he’d love to play alongside Messi.
“It would be special to play with Messi,” said the City defender, whose contract expires at the end of the season.
“Everyone knows that he is the best player in the world and what he does week after week is incredible.
“My situation is the same, I have a contract with City, it is true that this year is ending and what happens outside is carried out by my agent. In summer there are the Euros and I have to be prepared for this.
“If they (Barcelona) have to talk about something, they will have to talk about it with my agent, I am focused on this season, on my team and on the national team.”
As for Depay, Koeman wanted him in the summer.
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And with the Lyon star scoring 14 goals and registering nine assists from 30 Ligue 1 matches, Barcelona are sold on his signing.
Wijnaldum’s time at Liverpool is trickling down, with the Netherlands international poised to become a free agent at the end of the season.
And Barcelona, it seems, are confident of securing his signature at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Laporta has insisted Koeman will remain in charge of the side and that the former Everton and Southampton boss ‘knows’ he has the board’s backing.
“We’re aiming to win titles,” he said.
“Ronald, you already know you have the confidence of this new board of directors.
“What we want to see is that the team is improving and we are happy and hopeful that it will continue to grow.”
Another thing on Barcelona’s agenda will be keeping hold of Messi, who continues to be linked with PSG and Manchester City.
And Laporta has vowed to keep the 33-year-old at the club, saying: “I take the opportunity to say again that I will try to convince Leo (Messi) to stay with us. That is a must-do task, I will do all I can. He knows it.
“Whatever he does will be OK but we will try to make him stay because he is the best player in the history of football.
“And my apologies Leo, for saying this right here and right now, but you know of my love for you, Barca loves you a lot and if this stadium would be full when you play the next game I am sure you wouldn’t be able to leave.”
The Barcelona supremo also wants to make the club’s ‘economically viable’ again.
“It is true that the economic situation of the club is the source of pre-occupation for all Barca associates and us as well and that is our priority,” Laporta added.
“To turn Barca economically viable again, that is why we have a shock plan we will implement. We know how to do it, it will mean making an effort and working a lot.
“Now that we have the power to make decisions we will try to generate new sources of income. We will try to make the right decisions to reverse the current situation.”
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