La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit
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Barcelona face having to pay a whopping £10million compensation package if they choose to sack head coach Ronald Koeman it has been claimed. The Dutchman is under increased pressure following a difficult week.
The LaLiga side were first comfortably beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week.
It was a devastating start to the club’s European campaign, in which they face a tough group of Bayern, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev.
Koeman’s side then needed an added-time goal by defender Ronald Araujo to clinch a draw at home to winless Granada.
Barca have endured a difficult few months. Their third-placed finish last term was the lowest they had placed in LaLiga since 2008.
They also lost a couple of key players during the summer transfer window, including iconic forward Lionel Messi.
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Huge debts and LaLiga rules around player registration meant that Messi could not sign a new contract after his previous terms expired at the end of June. Antoine Griezmann then left on deadline day.
A couple of remaining players accepted wage cuts to allow the likes of Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Memphis Depay and Luuk De Jong to be cleared to play in the league.
But rumours around Koeman’s job security continue to intensify following a run of poor results. According to Goal, Barca face having to pay the former Everton and Southampton coach a huge £10m if they decided to dismiss him.
The report continues that the Blaugrana are trying to put together the payment despite the club’s gruelling fixture schedule.
Barca could choose to act during the October international break in the middle of next month.
Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez is apparently the leading candidate to replace Koeman, whose contract runs until 2022. Martinez was coy about his own future during Euro 2020.
Koeman has been criticised for not playing the renowned Barcelona style of football. The 58-year-old’s side attempted 54 crosses during their draw with Granada.
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The Dutchman did indeed have a couple of players absent and was forced to play some individuals out of position. Araujo scored his goal playing as a striker in the final minutes of the game.
Koeman defended the way his team played. “It depends on what we have available,” he told reporters.
“How are we going to play tiki taki [sic] if there is no space? Look at the squad. We did what we have to do. With a bit more time, we would have won.
“Today’s Barcelona is not the Barca of eight years ago. We play the Barca way, but we don’t have players to play one-on-one or with pace. You can’t be unhappy with the team’s attitude.
“We played 4-3-3, but we didn’t have pace out wide. Neither Coutinho nor Demir are that player. They’re not Ansu [Fati] or [Ousmane] Dembele, so we have to look for another way.”
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