Ronald Koeman

Under-pressure Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is reportedly expected to meet president Joan Laporta next week for showdown talks about his future.

The Dutch coach was in a spiky mood during his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Atletico Madrid on Saturday, admitting that rumours of his possible sacking are ‘true’.

Now, Spanish publication SPORT reports this morning that Koeman could well have conducted his last press conference as Barcelona manager, with the head coach to meet Laporta next week to decide his future in Catalonia.

SPORT lead with the headline ‘Koeman can taste his sacking’ after a torrid start to the season at the Nou Camp.

He came out fighting on Friday as he said said he is ‘tired of defending himself’, with pressure growing on the 58-year-old amid a shocking run of results for Barcelona including their recent 3-0 loss to Benfica in the Champions League.

‘The club have said nothing to me,’ Koeman said on Friday via ESPN. ‘I’ve learned that the president was [at the training ground] this morning, but I have not seen him.

‘We’re preparing for Saturday’s game. I can’t say anything. But I have eyes and ears and I know a lot of things have been leaked, which I imagine are true, but no one has said anything to me.’

The Spanish media quizzed the Dutchman on his record at Barcelona, much to the frustration of the boss, who expressed his weariness with such questions.

‘I’m tired of defending myself,’ he added. ‘It doesn’t make any sense. People who know can analyze it. We have assumed changes in the club.

‘This is for you, there will be people who think it is disrespectful, But that is not for today. One day I would like to talk about everything I think. That is true.’

Koeman was also asked to detail the current status of his relationship with president Joan Laporta, amid reports that the pair did not speak to each other on the journey back from Benfica.

Again, the 58-year-old refused to be drawn into a response. ‘I’m not going to answer that question,’ he said.

Asked for his best and worst moments in charge, Koeman said: ‘If I have to reply…it’s like I’m gone already. The best moment? Signing to be coach of Barca. The worst? The departure of Messi.’

Among the contenders to replace Koeman are Roberto Martinez, Andrea Pirlo and ex-player Xavi.


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