BARCELONA

Koeman: "Yes, I'd like to return to Barça, but I haven't signed anything yet"

The coach spoke in Zeist, at the Dutch Football Federation headquarters, where he is negotiating the cancelling his contract as national team coach.

Ronald Koeman is in Zeist, home of the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB), to discuss and finalise his departure from his post as coach of the Netherlands national team - which will free him up to sign for Barcelona. When asked about the chance that he will return to Camp Nou, Koeman told reporters: "Yes, I'd like to, but it will only be confirmed once I have signed the contract. Until then, I cannot say any more about it - even though I'd like to".

In Zeist, there is no doubt that Koeman will leave the national team, the Dutch press report. Barça CEO Óscar Grau spent yesterday negotiating with the KNVB.

Release clause in Koeman's contract

Koeman is under contract with the KNVB, but a clause written into that contract states that he will be able to terminate his working relationship with the Federation if he were to receive an offer from Barcelona. That clause could only be triggered after Euro 2020, but circumstances have changed with the tournament being moved to 2021. Barcelona also contacted Koeman with a work proposal in January but the offer was turned down.

Koeman, 57, played for Barcelona from 1989 until 1995 and delivered the club's first European crown in 1992 by hitting the winner in the final against Sampdoria at Wembley.

Koeman will take over from Quique Setién, who was dismissed from the post yesterday following last week's 2-8 thrashing to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter final. For the first time in 12 years, the Catalan club has ended a season without a trophy.