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Koeman talks Griezmann, rotation and Messi to PSG rumors before Granada clash

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The latest from the Barcelona boss

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - Copa del Rey Final Photo by Pablo Morano/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman faced the press to talk about all things Granada on Wednesday ahead of Barcelona’s next La Liga match at the Camp Nou.

The Dutchman discussed his team’s title hopes, Antoine Griezmann, rotation and recent rumors that Paris Saint-Germain have made Lionel Messi an offer.

Here are the best bits:

Koeman on chance to go top

We know that we can be leaders, it can be a reward, but first we have to win. If you look back it is an unexpected situation, fighting for the league is something great that we have achieved

Koeman on title race

All the games are important. We have already been under a lot of pressure, where we cannot fail. We need the points, all of them, also tomorrow’s. We know that it’s a fight between four teams to win the league.

Koeman on the return of fans

The return of the fans is important and beautiful. Having the public in your favor is important, the games are better. In Holland I saw games with a few thousand people and it’s more exciting. We miss our fans. Hopefully soon

Koeman on players getting carried away?

I’ve seen my team very concentrated. I haven’t seen the players being overly confident, thinking the job is done. A little while ago things were very different and now maybe some people have us as favorites but we certainly don’t think so. We know how tough it is to win all the games. The team has learned to take things game by game. We’re not going to go crazy now we have a chance to win the league. We are not going to worry too much about what’s ahead but focus on tomorrow which will be a complicated match.

Koeman on Griezmann

He’s always been an important player. Sure there’s been some criticism towards our forwards, the lack of efficiency, but he’s a kid I like. He’s a team player, he always works and trains very hard. He’s had some bad luck but it’s also true right now he has a lot of confidence. The first goal against Villarreal, you can’t score these goals if you lack confidence.

Koeman on Barca’s turnaround in form

These last 17 matches, almost half the league calendar, we’ve managed to achieve 15 wins, so you have to say that’s something very impressive. It had to be this way otherwise we couldn’t be in the title fight. You also need the other teams to drop points but the team took charge and improved and have a lot of confidence now.

Koeman on rotation

For me the most important thing is the team. If a player can’t play because he’s physically not 100% we can make a change. I’m not keen on making many changes because if a team is working not a lot of adjustments should be made. It’s difficult for the subs because they don’t play much but the team is most important. We are going to value freshness

Koeman on Mingueza, Griezmann, Messi & De Jong being on four yellows

It doesn’t worry me. It’s part of the game. it can happen, players suspended. I don’t understand why these questions are asked. Tomorrow we are playing a match, in two weeks we play another match. We have to win each match. The players know their responsibilities. Of course you have to be smart. If you pick up a yellow card too bad, another player will come in.

Koeman on PSG offer for Messi

It doesn’t interest me to be honest because I don’t know if it’s true. I hope Leo stays with us. For me, he has to end his career here. But it’s his decision. I’m just worried about winning, let’s see what happens at the end of the season

Koeman on looking for a new No. 9

We are working on next season because that’s part of our job. Taking into account that Ansu Fati has been out for five months, after six games he already had four goals. We’ve had to live without a very important player, despite his youth. We are the team that has generated the most chances and we have scored 76 goals. So without an important player up top, I think the team has done an excellent job.

Koeman on if Barca are favorites

The team who is first is the favorite and we are still not the first.