Ronald Koeman's Netherlands Contract Clause Allows for Barcelona Move

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2019

Holland coach Ronald Koeman during the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier group C qualifying match between Belarus and The Netherlands at Dinamo stadium on October 13, 2019 in Minsk, Belarus(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
ANP Sport/Getty Images

Nico-Jan Hoogma, the director of football for the Dutch Football Association, has said Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has a clause in his contract that would allow him to move to Barcelona for a set price.

Koeman is a legendary figure at the Camp Nou, where he developed into one of the best defenders in the world during a six-year spell. He famously scored the winning goal in the 1992 UEFA Champions League final for the Blaugrana too.

Given his affinity with the Catalan giants, Koeman has been frequently linked with a move to his former club. Hoogma said he hopes the 56-year-old will stay in his position for a while yet, but acknowledged the former centre-back would like to work at Barcelona in the future, per FOX Sports (h/t Goal).

"I hope that we can work together for a very long time, because I think it is going very well. 

"But Ronald has long indicated that he wants to be a Barcelona trainer someday. Let's see what will happen. Success at Oranje will certainly help him, just like everyone else helps us. But again: I hope the trajectory continues up to and including the World Cup in Qatar."

Hoogma also confirmed there is a stipulation in Koeman's terms with the Netherlands that would pave the way for a switch to Barcelona. "Agreements have been made about that," said the sporting director. "They have to pay for that."

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Spanish football writer Colin Millar relayed more details regarding the Barcelona clause in Koeman's terms: 

Here is the goal Koeman scored at Wembley in 1992, giving Barcelona a 1-0 win over Sampdoria and their first ever European Cup success:

The Dutchman has been in charge of his national side since February 2018 and was given a challenging brief after the team failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia that summer.

During his time in charge, Koeman has been able to tap into the talent at his disposal, winning 10 and drawing four of his 18 games in charge. After six games of their UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying campaign, they sit top of Group C, leading fierce rivals Germany on goal difference.

However, his managerial record in club football is mixed. In his previous job at Everton, Koeman was axed early in his second season, as the team struggled in 2017-18 after spending big money in the transfer window.

Barcelona's current boss Ernesto Valverde has enjoyed success since being appointed as boss in 2017, although he's not unanimously popular among supporters, per Rafael Hernandez of the Grup 14 fan site: 

Valverde has won back-to-back La Liga crowns, but his style of football isn't in keeping with the club's philosophies and his team have also endured successive second-leg collapses in the knockout stages in the Champions League, resulting in elimination.

Koeman's teams have typically played functional, counter-attacking football, meaning his Barcelona side wouldn't necessarily be any easier on the eye than Valverde's. Nevertheless, the legendary status he earned at the club as a player would surely earn him a lot of time if he was to make the move in the future.