Ronald Koeman to quit Netherlands for Barcelona: reports

Koeman has a clause in his deal with the Dutch football association KNVB which allows him to break his contract if he receives an offer from Barcelona.

Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman   -  Getty Images

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is expected to conclude negotiations on a three-year contract to manage Barcelona, Dutch media reported on Tuesday.

Koeman has a clause in his deal with the Dutch football association KNVB which allows him to break his contract if he receives an offer from Barcelona, the club he played for and began his coaching career with as assistant to Louis van Gaal.

The 57-year-old has made no secret of the fact Barcelona would be a dream job and Dutch media said Koeman felt it was now or never to accept an offer from the Catalan giant.

READ| Barcelona counts cost of gamble on Quique Setien

His decision was made easier by uncertainty over the future of international football amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Nations League matches next month under threat from an upsurge in new COVID-19 infections across Europe, plus the postponement of the European Championship to next year.

Quique Setien was fired as Barcelona coach on Monday after it was humbled 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Koeman will be faced with a major rebuilding job after Barca finished second in La Liga behind champion Real Madrid and was knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the quarterfinal stage by Athletic Bilbao.

READ| Could Mauricio Pochettino be Barcelona's next manager?

For the Dutch association, his impending departure is a major blow. Koeman has a contract up to the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 and led the team to qualification for the European Championship after it missed out on Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

Barca in talks

Barcelona is negotiating a deal to appoint Koeman as the successor to Setien, a club source said on Tuesday.

Koeman is dearly loved at Barca for his playing career in Johan Cruyff's hugely successful side known as the 'Dream Team' and for scoring the goal that delivered the club's first ever European Cup in 1992.

The defender later became the club's assistant coach before embarking on an eventful career as a head coach, managing Dutch sides Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord plus Premier League sides Southampton and Everton and La Liga's Valencia.

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