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Euro delay sees Koeman's Barcelona clause pushed back

06:47 GMT+4 18/03/2020
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The club's former assistant has revealed any return to Camp Nou will now have to wait another year

Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman said his Barcelona clause has been delayed until 2021 after the European Championship was postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Barca defender Koeman was in line to take over from Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked and replaced by Quique Setien in January.

Koeman previously revealed his Netherlands contract contains a clause that allows him to depart for Camp Nou following Euro 2020.

With the Euros pushed back 12 months amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Dutchman Koeman addressed his contract.

"The clause in my contract to go to Barcelona is for after the European Championship," Koeman said via Marca.

"No date has been mentioned, so now it's after the European Championship in 2021. But I haven't thought about it for a second anyway."

UEFA confirmed the postponement of Euro 2020 on Tuesday, with the competition due to be staged across June and July in 2021.

All other UEFA competitions and matches for clubs and national teams have been put on hold until further notice. 

Netherlands were set to be without star Memphis Depay this year due to a knee injury but Koeman stressed his side were still in solid shape to play this year had they been required to. 

"It's a lucky break, but it's a shame that the European Championship won't be played now," he said. 

"We qualified at a good level, we were in good shape and we wanted to continue in this vein."

Koeman revealed earlier in March that Barcelona did approach him to replace Valverde but he declined any offers citing his national team commitments. 

While he has resisted a return to Camp Nou, Koeman is happy to see Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong being given a chance to shine for the club this season - albeit in a different role. 

"De Jong plays a lot at Barca and that is positive,” he said. "But he is playing in a different position than he is used to. But that is the decision of the coach.

“He's very young, and from playing games, you learn a lot of things. But I think he plays differently with me in the national team.”