Barcelona appointed Ronald Koeman as their new head coach on a two-year contract, with the 57-year-old succeeding Quique Setien, following the Catalan giants’ humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The former Barcelona player became the fifth Dutchman to take charge of the club after Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard.
With time running out because the new La Liga season is set to start in about three weeks’ time, Ronald Koeman has his task cut out as he tries to build a winning team capable of bringing the glory days back to the Camp Nou again.
The veteran Dutch manager would surely like to inject some fresh blood into an ageing Barcelona squad, which needs major rebuilding.
So, here we take a look at five players Ronald Koeman could sign to get Barcelona back on track.
#5 Georginio Wijnaldum
As per multiple reports in England, the new Barcelona boss is a great admirer of Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and would love to work with the 29-year-old at the Camp Nou
Wijnaldum has been a great success at the Merseyside club since his move from Newcastle United and has been one of Jurgen Klopp’s most trusted men in the middle of the park.
The Dutchman has already made 168 appearances across all competitions for the Reds, winning several major honours, including a Premier League title and a UEFA Champions League crown.
Wijnaldum has a year left in his Liverpool contract and there are no talks about a new deal yet. So, a move to Barcelona doesn’t seem an unrealistic option, especially given the fact that he has already played under Koeman for the Dutch national side.
#4 Memphis Depay
According to multiple reports in Spain, Ronald Koeman wants to lure Memphis Depay away from Lyon in order to inject some pace into a slowish Barcelona attacking third.
Koeman used Depay quite often during his managerial stint with the Dutch national side and helped the 26-year-old to revive his long-lost confidence after the forward endured a torrid time in England with Manchester United.
In 22 matches in all competitions for Lyon this season, Depay has managed to find the back of the net 15 times, besides providing two assists.
Depay also played his part in helping Lyon reach the Champions League semi-finals, where they were beaten by a well-oiled Bayern Munich team.
If recent reports are to be believed, Barcelona are thinking of offloading Luis Suarez and make place for the versatile Dutch forward.
#3 Eric Garcia
Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia has been linked with a move to the Camp Nou for quite some time now. Garcia’s Manchester City contract runs out next summer and Pep Guardiola himself has confirmed that the player doesn’t want to extend his stay at the Etihad.
The 19-year-old ball-playing defender, who is a product of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, joined Manchester City in 2017.
After spending two seasons at the club’s youth set-up, Garcia enjoyed a breakthrough campaign this term and successfully managed to solidify his place as the Citizens’ first-choice centre-back alongside Aymeric Laporte.
Multiple reports in England suggest that both Barcelona and Manchester City are in talks to make best out of the situation, with the Premier League giants demanding nothing less than €20 million-plus add-ons for the highly-rated defender.
#2 Lautaro Martinez
Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez has also been on Barcelona’s radar for several months now. The Argentine is enjoying a prolific campaign in front of goal and remains a top transfer target for the Catalans.
The 22-year-old is understood to be a big favourite of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, with club president Josep Bartomeu himself discussing the possibility of bringing in Martinez earlier in the summer.
In 48 appearances this season, Lautaro Martinez has scored 21 times and would surely like to add to his already-impressive tally in the Europa League final against Sevilla on Friday night.
#1 Donny van de Beek
Ronald Koeman reportedly wants to make Donny van de Beek his primary signing as the Dutch manager plans to reshape Barcelona’s midfield.
Having already worked with Van de Beek in the Dutch national side, the former Everton boss rates the 23-year-old dynamic midfielder highly.
Van de Beek, who starred in Ajax’s sensational run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, has also been linked with a move to Barcelona’s arch-rivals, Real Madrid for quite some time now.
But since Koeman’s appointment, Barcelona have made a late entry to lure the midfielder, who is also a Manchester United target, away from Ajax.
As per Le10 Sport, Van de Beek would cost Barcelona around €50 million, and given the current situation the Catalan club find themselves in, it still remains to be seen whether they have the financial resources to pay such a hefty sum to the Eredivisie giants.