Barcelona board uncertain about Koeman's future - sources

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There are growing doubts among the Barcelona board regarding coach Ronald Koeman's future at the club beyond the end of the season, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Koeman, 58, signed a two-year deal at Camp Nou last summer but the recent defeat to Granada and Saturday's draw with Atletico Madrid have served to increase the uncertainty surrounding his position.

With three games to go in La Liga, Barca's title hopes depend on winning all their remaining fixtures and hoping leaders Atletico and Real Madrid drop points.

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However, regardless of what happens in the final weeks of the season, there are members of the board that are keen to start afresh with a new coach in the summer.

"That's not one to answer now but after the last game of the season," Koeman said in a news conference on Monday when asked if he feared for his job.

"From the first day, the president [Joan Laporta] has shown confidence in me. He's the one who can make decisions and, once the season finishes, we will talk about the future.

"I am not worried. I signed a two-year deal and I see myself here next year. If that's not the case, the president will have to speak to me. We have arranged to talk at the end of the campaign.

"There are still two weeks to go and we have three very important games, so now is not the time to talk about my future."

Koeman took on the job at a difficult time last August. Barca had just lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Lionel Messi wanted to leave and the club was entrenched in an institutional crisis.

That crisis led to the resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu last October, with Laporta elected as his replacement in March.

Despite all that upheaval, coupled with the club's financial problems, Barca have enjoyed a moderately successful season. They have already won the Copa del Rey, their first trophy since 2019, and remain in the title race going into the final weeks of the season.

Koeman's backers highlight the job he has done in tough circumstances and the braveness he has shown when it has come to playing youngsters. Pedri, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza and Ilaix Moriba have all played regularly.

Various sources have confirmed to ESPN that Koeman is actively participating in planning for next season, including continuing to push for the signing of Memphis Depay, who he wanted last summer and is set to leave Lyon for free in June when his contract expires.

However, other sources have told ESPN how several directors feel Koeman's style of play doesn't fit with the club's long-term goals and would dispense of him even if Barca end the season winning a domestic double.

The Dutch coach's critics question his overly defensive tactics at times and repeated poor performances in big games. Barca have failed to beat either of their title rivals, Atletico or Madrid, in La Liga this season and lost by three goals in the Champions League at home to both Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Laporta gave Koeman his support publicly when he was first elected but has remained coy on the subject since, even refusing to speak about his future after Barca beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 to win the Copa del Rey in April.

One source said Laporta was especially angered by the defeat to Granada on April 29 when Barca blew the chance to move top of the league with just five games to go.

Former Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez is among the options to replace him. He's set to sign a new two-year deal with Al Sadd in Qatar, although sources have indicated to ESPN the terms will include a clause that allows him to leave if his old club come calling.

Laporta is also looking towards the Bundesliga and the emerging school of German coaches. During the election campaign, he sounded out Ralf Rangnick as a possible sporting director and considered Julian Nagelsmann, who has since agreed to take over Bayern next season, as a possible coach.