Former Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has said that he does not expect Lionel Messi to return to Barcelona mostly because Sergio Busquets has now decided to leave and Jordi Alba is expected to depart as well.
Messi, Busquets and Alba share a close friendship and it is being said that in order to sign the Argentina captain, Saudi Arabia side Al-Hilal are considering sending their proposal to Busquets and Alba.
Reports in the media have been doing rounds that the Saudi side has put forward a €450 million-a-year contract to Messi and if the Barcelona duo ends up there, high chances that the World Cup winner will snub Barcelona to join the familiar faces in the Middle East.
Koeman, on his part, is of the same idea that if Busquets and Alba decide to join the same club, Messi would be tempted to spend the final years of his professional career with his close friends.
“I don’t expect Messi to return to Barcelona. Busquets will leave, Jordi Alba isn’t certain to stay too and these 3 are close friends. It wouldn’t surprise me if they would leave for Miami or Saudi Arabia together,” the former Barça told ESPN (h/t TheEuropeanLad).
On the other hand, while speaking about Joan Laporta, Koeman added that the club president only wants to save his image by signing Messi as it was under his regime that the veteran forward was forced to leave the team.
“Joan Laporta wants to save his face [by returning Messi] because he is known as the man who let Lionel Messi go,” he added.
Meanwhile, the former coach also shared his thought on the renovation of the Spotify Camp Nou, saying that even the idea of it is beyond his understanding.
“It surprises me to see how Barça are going to renovate the stadium, how they just keep going while being in so much debt. The players have to keep handing in money, they have to accept a lower contract that is usually much higher.”
Barcelona have secured almost €1.5 billion in funding for the redevelopment of the iconic stadium. During the construction work, the team will play its home games at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium.