Koeman: I want to stay at Barca, but need assurances

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman says he wants to stay at the Nou Camp next season, but will need assurances from president Joan Laporta when they meet later this month.

Koeman, who has another year left on his Barca contract, has guided Barcelona to the Copa del Rey already this season, but last week’s 3-3 draw at Levante has left his side with little chance of winning La Liga.

They have to beat Celta Vigo in their final home game on Sunday but even if they do, their hopes will be ended if league leaders Atletico Madrid beat Osasuna.

Joan Laporta celebrates his election victory
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Joan Laporta will meet with Koeman at the end of the season

“We have agreed to talk at the end of the season,” Koeman told a news conference on Saturday.

“It’s very important for a coach to work in a club where he has absolute confidence. If that’s the case, I can and I’d like to stay.”

Koeman also said he has been unhappy with his treatment in the media this season.

“We won the Copa del Rey, we cut the gap with Atletico down by 12 points to fight for the title, but then if you look at the press coverage in the last few days, it seems as if I’ve done a bad job,” Koeman added.

Lionel Messi collects the Copa del Rey after Barcelona's 4-0 win
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Lionel Messi got his hands on silverware despite a frustrating season for Barcelona

“It’s not fair that one day everything seemed perfect and two weeks later, everything is horrible.”

Former Barca defender Koeman succeeded Quique Setien as coach last August, when Laporta’s predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu was at the helm of the club.

His side took only 14 points from their opening 10 games but staged an impressive turnaround to haul themselves back into the title race.

They won the Copa del Rey in April with an emphatic 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, but their season unravelled after they lost 2-1 at home to Granada, blowing their chance to unseat leaders Atletico.

Barca have also had a disappointing season in the Champions League, losing 5-2 to Paris St Germain on aggregate in the last-16.

“I’m very happy with what we’ve done if you consider all the difficulties we’ve had, although we’re still disappointed to not have taken the chances we had to become league leaders,” Koeman added.

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