Big changes are on the way in the Catalan capital. Ronald Koeman is the new coach and he will demand new signings, meaning many of the old guard have to go. And while we still don’t know all of his plans, we do know Lautaro Martínez has become Barça’s priority transfer.
At least that’s what the local papers are saying as of late. Luis Suárez is presumably nearing the end of his stint at the club and Inter’s El Toro is the chosen one to replace him.
The Uruguayan has one year left on his contract, and then another one that will activate automatically if he plays 60% of the official matches. Still, Suárez is adamant that he wants to continue until his contract runs out and then, if Barcelona don’t want him, he can leave for free.
However, this doesn’t seem to be what the club have in mind. The team is struggling and old so changes are needed now, not in a year or two. For that reason, Lautaro has become Barça’s priority transfer.
The Argentine forward is young, energetic and the board seem to like him a lot and he likes Barcelona as well. But the biggest takeaway is this: Lautaro won’t arrive as long as Suárez is still here.
So in order to buy, Barcelona will first have to sell. But can they actually do it? That’s still very much the biggest question around.
Source: Mundo Deportivo
Koeman’s press conference ahead of Sevilla clash ends prematurely due to a nosebleed
As Barcelona gear-up to take on Sevilla in gameweek 25 of La Liga, Ronald Koeman sat down to address the media as part of his pre-game press conference. However, his presser was interrupted, and consequently ended prematurely due to a nosebleed the Dutchman suffered while speaking. This is the second time this is happening this season, with the first incident occurring before the Athletic Bilbao game last month. It comes possibly as a result of the blood thinners he takes after suffering from heart problems last year, as has been reported by Javi Miguel.
❗Koeman's press conference came to an end after a nosebleed. This is the second time it's happened this season – the first being in the press conference before the game against Bilbao on January 30. We hope the coach is doing fine.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 26, 2021
Before the presser was halted, Koeman spoke about how the two consecutive games against Sevilla are different from one another, saying “There are two different games. Tomorrow we play for La Liga, and Wednesday for the Copa del Rey. We have to win both games and we hope to continue our unbeaten streak in the league tomorrow.”
As part of merry news, Ronald Araujo has entered the squad list for the first time in five games after suffering an ankle injury against Real Betis. Koeman addressed his inclusion in the presser, saying, “Araújo has entered the list and everyone who enters the list has options to play. We’ll decide our XI tomorrow.”
Koeman clearly holds the young defender in high praise, and complimented him in today’s presser as well, saying, “Araújo has had a very good season so far. He’s young, but he has learned and shown a lot. He has a great physique level, he’s strong and fast, and he brings us many things defensively.”
The topic surrounding Barcelona’s lack of leadership came up yet again, despite there being several veteran players in the side. Koeman singled out Lionel Messi again, while calling for contribution from others: “Veteran players have tried to take control, but they can’t do it alone either. Messi has 17-18 goals, the same as everyone else put together. Responsibility must be shared.”
“I know that being a Barça coach there is always a lot of pressure. If you don’t win, it’s the manager’s mistake. I don’t know what could happen in the future, there is time to talk about that, but I’m optimistic,” Koeman said in regards to how he feels about his future as a Barcelona coach with the elections nearby.
The last thing Koeman talked about was voting in the elections before rushing out of the room. He said, “The elections? I will not vote because I think I don’t have to vote. I have to wait, and the socios will decide.”