The news that broke on Tuesday lunchtime appears to indicate that Ronald Koeman may still be pulling the managerial strings at Barcelona after all.
Though it isn’t 100 percent confirmed at the time of writing, multiple reports suggest that Gini Wijnaldum has agreed a deal with the Catalans until 2024.
That’s an awful lot of faith to show in someone if the manager isn’t supportive, and given that we know the former Liverpool star has long been courted by his countryman, we can deduce that, perhaps, Koeman will take the reins again next season.
Joan Laporta, it seems, is a victim of circumstance.
His play for Hansi Flick has been unsuccessful given that the outgoing Bayern Munich manager has now signed his deal to take over the German national team, Xavi would appear not to be ready for the ‘big job’ just yet, and Erik ten Hag, who is the only other conceivable candidate that might be welcomed with open arms at the club, would cost too much.
To save any more upheaval in the dressing room too, allowing Koeman to see out the final season of his two-year deal is a sensible decision.
It’s believed that the senior pros in the squad respect his straight talking manner, though Koeman is going to have to bend on certain issues such as playing style, Riqui Puig etc.
With supporters expected to be back in the stands next season, he’ll get a much rougher ride than he’s had to this point if his selections and results are not up to scratch.
Barca will be better off financially of course if Laporta decides against sacking Koeman. Seven million euros may seem a drop in the ocean at this point, but every little helps.
News that Memphis Depay is also mulling over an offer from the Catalans strengthens the belief that, despite their reservations, Laporta and his board are left with little option other to than see if Koeman can improve on a tumultuous first season in charge.
Nothing that the Dutchman has done in his coaching career prior to joining Barca suggests that he has the tools to go all of the way in Europe or in the Spanish top-flight.
Aside from some reasonable success in the Eredivise over a decade ago, he has flattered to deceive at every club, and his win percentage for the big matches remains poor.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt - again - however... perhaps with the likes of Wijnaldum, Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, Barca can go on to better things in 2021/22.
Never a dull moment eh?!