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BARCELONA

Koeman puts Barcelona dream on hold until after Euro 2020

Netherlands boss and potential Barcelona target to replace Ernesto Valverde, Ronald Koeman insists he will not be quitting his job in the near future.

Koeman puts Barcelona dream on hold until after Euro 2020
Matthew Childs REUTERS

Ronald Koeman has branded Barcelona his "dream club" but a potential route back to Camp Nou will not become clearer until after Euro 2020. Last month, Royal Dutch Football Association director Nico-Jan Hoogma revealed the existence of a clause in Koeman's Netherlands contract enabling him to quit the post if Barça come calling. The former Valencia and Everton coach confirmed Hoogma's account in an appearance on Dutch television but said the clause is not yet in effect and that he has no plans to leave in the immediate future.

Koeman and the Dream Team

Koeman won four LaLiga titles with Barça as a player and would be among the favourites to take over as head coach if the club parts ways with the under-pressure Ernesto Valverde.

"It's only about Barcelona and also about a time after the European Championship," Koeman told Fox Sports Netherlands when asked about the contract. "I'm not leaving now, that's 100 per cent certain. I think that as a national coach you are entering a process and that takes two years. After the European Championship there is an evaluation moment and who knows, the KNVB may say: 'We have performed so badly at the European Championship, we are not going any further.' Then we will not go further. But I have the opportunity to leave for one club, and there is only one club in it. I can safely say that I will not leave the Dutch national team for anyone else. I have said often enough that [Barcelona] is my dream club."

Netherlands need a draw in Belfast to qualify for Euro 2020

Netherlands need only a point against Northern Ireland in Belfast on 16 November to book their place at Euro 2020. The match might come too soon for uncapped teenager Mohamed Ihattaren but Koeman will be able to call on the highly rated PSV prospect in future. Ihattaren, 17, has committed to representing the Oranje at senior level, spurning interest from Morocco.

Koeman delighted with Ihattaren decision

Koeman welcomed the news in the wake of Ajax defender Sergiño Dest's decision to pledge his allegiance to the United States. "His choice is in any case a nice signal to other players who are faced with the same choice," he said. "This is really important for Dutch football."