Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has opened up on the situation leading to the sales of Emerson Royal and Antoine Griezmann late in the transfer window.
During an exclusive interview with SPORT, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has shed some light on the circumstances that led to the club selling Antoine Griezmann and Emerson Royal late in the summer transfer window.
The summer transfer market was one to forget for the Barcelona supporters. The departure of Lionel Messi will be one that the supporters and the club will take a long time to come to terms with. However, apart from the exit of perhaps the greatest player to have ever played for the club, the Blaugrana also parted ways with Griezmann as well as Emerson on the deadline day.
Griezmann, after two rough years with the Catalan giants, returned to Atletico Madrid, whereas, Emerson, who had just signed from Real Betis on a permanent basis, was immediately offloaded, despite president Joan Laporta stating days before that he hoped that the Brazilian would spend many years at the club.
It all came down to Barcelona’s wage issues, with the club in deep troubles financially, which eventually needed them to part ways with some players. Now opening up on the circumstances surrounding their departures, Koeman, in his interview said:
“It’s not been easy. An example of me wanting to help the club is the Emerson decision. I told the club if the money was important, they can sell Emerson because we have Dest, Mingueza and even Sergi Roberto. I didn’t stand in the way because I could have said: ‘He’s not moving.'”
“Yes, it was the same, with the additional problem that it happened on deadline day, with very little time to find a solution. It was not great. Griezmann had a big contract and if he left, it helped the club financially. For that reason, I accepted his exit,” he added.
As iterated earlier, it was a difficult summer for the Blaugrana. But they did manage to get in some players in the form of Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and the deadline day arrival of Luuk de Jong. Depay, in particular, is set to have a huge role in where the Catalans end up come the end of the season in May next year.