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‘I only want players who want to be here’, warns Koeman

New Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has warned he only wants to work with players who want to stay at the club, even as he prepares to speak with Lionel Messi about his future.

“I don’t know if I have to convince Messi,” Koeman tells reporters at the Camp Nou.

“He is the best player in the world and you want the best player in the world in your team not on the other side,” he says.

“For my part I would love to work with Messi, he wins football matches and I would be really happy if he decides to stay,” he added.

But the 57-year-old clarified in his first press conference: “I only want to work with players who want to be here and if they are not happy let them say it.”

On the subject of Messi, he added: “He has a contract. He has one year left. He is a Barcelona player.”

The Spanish team officially announced Koeman as its new coach on Wednesday, a day after club president Josep Bartomeu said the Dutchman accepted the coaching offer and only details needed to be sorted out.

“Today is a day to be happy and proud,” Koeman said after being introduced by Bartomeu.

“Everyone knows what Barca means to me. It’s my home.”

Read Also: Barca to enforce pay cuts on players who refuse to leave

Koeman returns to the club where he thrived as a defender under Dutch great Johan Cruyff in the early 1990s.

It was Koeman’s extra-time winner in the final against Sampdoria at Wembley Stadium that gave Barcelona its first European title nearly three decades ago.

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