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Sunday 17 December 2017

Ronald Koeman intends seeing out Everton contract - but Arouna Kone is leaving

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has ambitions to coach former club Barcelona
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has ambitions to coach former club Barcelona

Everton manager Ronald Koeman insists he will see out his contract at the club and will not be the new coach of Barcelona.

In an interview with Catalan newspaper Sport the Dutchman said it was his dream to return to the Nou Camp to manage his former club, where he played for six years between 1989 and 1995.

With current incumbent Luis Enrique set to leave at the end of the season speculation has linked Koeman with the job, having been assistant to Louis van Gaal in 1998 to 2000.

However, Koeman dismissed those links despite his latest comments on his desire to manage there in the future.

He said: "I think I mentioned several times it is human ambition and that means for players and for managers - and that has not changed my position or my contract with Everton.

"There is no chance I will leave Everton before the end of my contract.

"The last two years, when I was at Southampton sometimes, there were stories about Barcelona - that happened when I left Barcelona (as assistant).

"I am still not in Barcelona and I don't expect I will be the new manager.

"I am really happy to be at Everton and I am looking forward to next season. It is a big project and I will be part of that project."

Koeman has guided the club to a guaranteed seventh-place finish in the Premier League and he has aspirations for breaking into the top six and even the Champions League.

"When I got the offer of Everton it was not about this season, it was about a project that we would like to change things and develop the team and make the team strong and have really good competition to the big six in the Premier League," he added.

"Already this season we have shown we are close but not close enough.

"It is really difficult and I think it is a big compliment to the players what we have achieved this season but for next season we like to improve and we want to do more."

One player who will not be part of that future is striker Arouna Kone, who has not made a Premier League start since the end of last season and has managed just seven substitute appearances.

"He has finished his contract and he will leave the club at the end of the season," said Koeman.

Press Association

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