KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Ronald Koeman has been confirmed as new coach of Barcelona on a two-year contract to succeed Quique Setien who was sacked after last weekend’s 8-2 Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich.
Koeman, 57, has never made any secret of his ambition to return to Barcelona for whm he scored the goal which brought the club their first European Champions crown against Italy’s Sampdoria at Wembley in 1992.
He will step down with immediate effect from his work with the Dutch federation where his contract, which ran until the 2022 World Cup, included a break clause in case the Barcelona opportunity arose.
Koeman has been assured by president Josep Maria Bartomeu that Lionel Messi will be staying at Nou Camp where his current contract expires next year.
Bartomeu said: “Messi wants to end his career at Barca, he has said that many times. The pillar of our project with Koeman is Messi. He has a contract until 2021, I speak a lot with Leo and more regularly with his father.
“He is number one in the world. There is no doubt that in Koeman’s new project you can count on Messi.”
Ramon Planes is the new technical director in place of Eric Abidal to whnm he had been assistant. Planes was previously technical secretary at Espanyol and Getafe .