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Koeman leaves Barcelona press conference after reading out statement and refusing to take questions

13:33 BST 22/09/2021
Ronald Koeman Barcelona 2021-22
The Dutch coach is close to being sacked by the Camp Nou side but has insisted he needs time to fix the situation

Ronald Koeman has called for patience as Barcelona look to rebuild amid their current crisis after reading out a statement at a press conference, where he declined to take questions.

Pressure is building on the Dutch coach amid his side's disappointing results of late, having suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League followed by a 1-1 draw against Granada on Monday.

There have been constant reports of the former Barca star being sacked, but Koeman says the club stand with him and understand that it will take time to get the team challenging for major trophies again.  

What did Koeman do?

Koeman addressed reporters at a press conference on Wednesday and read a brief statement to the press.

The 58-year-old refused to take any questions and left after arguing his case that they need to be patient if they are to overcome their financial problems, build a strong team and be considered a major force in Europe again.

"The club stands with me as the coach in a situation of rebuilding. The financial situation of the club is connected to the sporting activities and vice versa. This means that we as a team have to rebuild without having to make any big financial investments. This needs time," Koeman said.

"The young talent today could end up being the next big world stars in just a few years. In order to reconstruct this team, young players must get opportunities like Xavi and Andres Iniesta had in their day. But we must ask for patience.

"What's more, being in another ranking in La Liga is a great success. This is a great footballing school for these talents. In the Champions League we can't hope for miracles. The defeat to Bayern Munich last week has to be viewed from that perspective.

"The process that we're in right now, the staff and team deserves unconditional support in word and in actions. I know the press recognise this process. It's not the first time in Barcelona's history that this has happened.

"We count on your support at this difficult time. Us, as a staff and the players, are very happy with the great support from the fans like we had in the match against Granada."

Why did Koeman do this?

Goal has learned the former Netherlands manager made the decision to read the statement on his own and without the knowledge of the club leaders.

It is the latest development in a tense relationship between him and president Joan Laporta.

The two have exchanged jibes through the press in recent months. It has been reported that Laporta is demanding Koeman give certain young players an important role in the team and the coach responded by insisting recently that he should be in charge of selecting the team and not the president.

Will Koeman be sacked?

Goal understands the club are preparing to sack the coach.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has been identified as the leading candidate to replace the Dutchman.

Barca are looking for the right moment to relieve Koeman of his duties, with their busy schedule holding them back from making the call. 

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