Ronald Koeman, speaking ahead of Barcelona‘s La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao tomorrow evening at Camp Nou, touched on several topics in his pre-match press conference with his comments carried by Marca.
Chief among them was the subject of Eric Garcia, the Manchester City centre-back Barcelona have been pursuing for some time. Koeman wants him, but Barcelona’s economic issues coupled with the uncertainty generated by the forthcoming presidential elections make any deal complicated.
“There’s a lot of talk about this issue but I have to think about preparing the team for the game,” Koeman said when asked about Garcia. “The rest is putting energy into things that don’t depend on me.”
Koeman was asked whether he’s spoken to Pep Guardiola, his former teammate at Barcelona and Garcia’s coach at City, about the negotiations between the two clubs.
“I spoke with Pep on his birthday, but I didn’t speak about Eric Garcia with him because that’s not my job,” he said. “He’ll surely come next season but if it’s not possible this January, we’ll accept it and move on.”
Koeman also touched on his ambitions for the rest of the season. Barcelona are third in La Liga, ten points off league leaders Atletico Madrid, and have performed unconvincingly in Europe.
“We know about our situation in La Liga, it’s complicated,” he admitted. “Until the day it’s no longer possible, we’ll try to win. In the Champions League there are more teams but there is no clear favourite. We already know that we have two games against PSG that we’ll try to pass through. The ambition is to win titles, but you have to be realistic.”