Ronald Koeman has said Barcelona must be excellent again if they are to keep Lionel Messi happy at the Spanish club for the 2020-21 season.
The 33-year-old attempted, and struggled, to force a free transfer away from the club after finishing last season before again taking shots at the Barca hierarchy over their management of the departure of his friend Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid.
In a Tuesday interview with SPORT, six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi expressed his intention to draw a line under recent events and move on after he publicly voiced his reservations on the ongoings at Camp Nou on different occasions.
Messi, who is under contract only until the end of the 2020-21 season, has now decided that he wants to move on, and that is what Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has welcomed with open arms.
In a press conference ahead of Thursday’s LaLiga game between Barcelona and Celta Vigo, Koman said: “I don’t know if after Leo’s statements I’m going to have a quiet life, I don’t think so.
“But it is positive that the captain shows himself in that sense, asking for unity. This has always been positive. Hopefully we are going to be calmer than lately.
“I do not know if I have everything in that sense in my hands,” Koeman replied when asked what he could do to keep his superstar happy.
“You have to find the best team for him, where he can shine and where he gets the most out of it. And look for a formula in training.
“I have seen that he lives for football, even in training matches he does everything to win. For Leo to be happy, we have to win games.”
Koeman also stated that certain players might need to find new clubs.
“For players who do not see many possibilities, it is better to find a way out,” the Barcelona head coach said.
“I know that Rafinha has been on loan and it is a moment when you can no longer be on loan every season. We have many midfielders, we will have to look for the best for the team. They are technical decisions.”