Ronald Koeman Reveals He Rejected Barcelona Job in January

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman
Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman | TF-Images/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman has revealed Barcelona were interested in his services back in January after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, but he turned them down to stay with the Netherlands.

The former Everton and Southampton boss has previously declared his interest in managing the La Liga champions but has been in charge of the Netherlands' national side since 2018, leading the Oranje to the Nations League final and qualification for Euro 2020.

Koeman has declared Barcelona his dream job, though insists on honouring his contract with the Netherlands - a position he is very much happy in - and intends to see out his reign in charge of the national side.

Ronaldo Koeman during the Netherlands' Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia
Ronaldo Koeman during the Netherlands' Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia | ANP Sport/Getty Images

"I received a call from Barcelona, I have to keep to my word with the Dutch national team and play at the European Championship," Koeman stated in an interview with Catalunya Radio, via Marca.

"Everyone knows that my dream is to coach Barcelona one day. It always depends on your journey. I know that, as a coach, you have to have lots of experience to coach a team like that.

"In my contract, I have the possibility to leave the national team after the European Championship, but it’s not the time to think about that because I’m really happy with my job with the Netherlands."

Koeman after the European Cup final against Sampdoria in 1992
Koeman after the European Cup final against Sampdoria in 1992 | VI-Images/Getty Images

Koeman has been credited with successfully reviving a Netherlands side in disarray. Having taken the job in 2018 after they failed to qualify for that year's World Cup, the 57-year-old is now nurturing a new generation of Dutch talent with his sights firmly set on international success.

Nickname 'Tintin' during his playing days at Barcelona, Koeman made 192 appearances for La Blaugrana, scoring an impressive 67 goals from defence. His performances for the club made him an instant fan favourite and he remains an icon at Barça to this day.

Barcelona instead appointed former Real Betis manager Quique Setién as head coach following Valverde's departure. With La Liga set to return next week, Barça remain two points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the table ahead of the run-in, targeting their third consecutive league title.