Ronald Koeman faced the press on Wednesday to discuss all things Barcelona ahead of the team’s first La Liga away match of the season at Celta Vigo.
The Dutch coach offered his thoughts on Lionel Messi’s recent interview, gave an update on Sergino Dest and Ousmane Dembele and talked about Barca’s transfer plans.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Celta Vigo
We expect a difficult match because in recent years Barcelona haven’t been able to win at this ground. Winning at Balaidos is complicated. They have a very good team and so we have to be at a good level and play our match well to win.
Koeman on Messi’s interview
It’s very positive that the captain has shown that we need to be united. I hope we can be a bit more relaxed than we have been recently.
I don’t know if I have everything in my power so that Messi is happy here. We have to find the best team for him, where he can shine and the best position for him. And formulas in training because he lives for football and he always wants to win even in training.
Koeman on Sergino Dest
I think he is doing his medical check-up. He still has to sign his contract and until he’s signed I prefer not to give my opinion. It seems clear he will be here and so we can count on a young winger. It’s time to change things here, sign some younger players and consider the full-backs we have got. He’s a young player, he’s played in the Champions League and I’m sure he will be a useful player.
Koeman on Dembele
First I want to say that these decisions are made by the club and the player. As we have seen, I am going to count on him. He has not played from the beginning because there are more players and Ansu has proven to be very good for this team. He was better physically the first weeks But today he trained well and I’m going to count on him
Koeman on potential signings
We have to anyalse the lineup and see what we’re missing, but there are a couple of positions at the club we are looking at improving. We know that the club has financial problems, like all clubs. We are working to have another option at No. 9. The club will work hard to bring it in. If not we’ll count on the players we have. There are no complaints about the players we have.
Koeman on Griezmann
I’m not worried in this sense because I think Antoine is doing things very well. He’s playing from the right and has much more freedom to get into the center. When I was Netherlands coach we played a match against France and I saw Antoine on the right wing, so I don’t think we need to worry about him only playing in the centre. He has different qualities and from the outside to the inside is his danger and he loses his man really well. I’m very happy with his work.
Koeman on transfer priorities
One position is not more important than the other. In terms of type of players we are a bit weak centrally with Gerard with Lenglet and Araujo. That is why we have called up Santi from Barça B, to have one more center back.