The Ronald Koeman era starts today with a friendly clash against Nàstic. There is no real pre-season for the 2020/21 LaLiga campaign which, coincidently, also begins this Saturday so this will have to do.
All the papers are mostly focused on the grand opening later on but in Catalonia, the friendly takes the focus. SPORT are saying ‘Underway‘, hinting that Barcelona will take their first step under the new coach today.
The outlet is also suggesting that the Dutchman will use a mixed team consisting of different players in each half. That way, everyone will get to play and warm up for the long season ahead.
SPORT also quoted Koeman saying: ‘They’ll play as they train and I’m very pleased with the level they’ve shown these first two weeks‘. Hopefully, we can see some improvement on the pitch right from the bat.
Mundo Deportivo are still focusing on Lionel Messi. Of course, the Koeman era starts today but the important thing is that it starts with the Argentine in the team.
The new coach believes Leo will be a crucial piece of his jigsaw and the very hub of the new project. Him staying is a huge boost in both morale and on the pitch as well.
Koeman is also very satisfied with the level his squad is showing. Mundo Deportivo quote him praising the way they train and play. Let’s see if that translates onto the pitch once the real business starts.
Of course, unfortunately, it will be without the young Ansu Fati. Barcelona’s gem is injured and we’re still waiting to see how long he’ll be out. With the Catalans’ struggles to acquire a new forward, Ansu might play an even bigger role than expected.
Barcelona wants to improve contract of ‘the new Iniesta’
RAC1 have confirmed that Barcelona are indeed working on offering Pedri Gonzalez a new and improved contract. The youngster has been an absolute revelation for the club, and in turn, they now want to reward his services further and ensure his continuity via a long-term deal.
Earlier reports in the Spanish newspapers also stated that Barcelona have already begun working on a contract extension for Pedri. Since his move from Las Palmas, the midfielder has established himself as a key cog in Ronald Koeman’s new-look Barcelona machine driven by youth.
Pedri’s current Barcelona contract expires in June 2022, but has a clause that would allow a two-year extension. The club are keen on improving the economic terms of his deal, which reportedly earns him 34,000 euros per week at the moment, and ensuring that he stays in Barcelona for years to come.
Barcelona also want to fend off interest from other clubs who have begun to take notice of the teenager’s incredible rise to prominence. The 18-year old has already been contacted by major clubs like Liverpool according to previous reports.
Since his arrival, Barcelona want to offer Pedri a deal that fairly reflects his invaluable contributions to the team. He has been instrumental in freshening up the Blaugrana midfield with his tremendous technical ability on the ball, range of passing, and work rate out of possession. His talents have thus drawn comparisons to the legendary Andres Iniesta.
As for the player himself, he has already stated on multiple occasions that he wants to succeed at Barcelona. Pedri aims to stay at the club for many years and win major titles.