Koeman promises to see out contract at Southampton

Reuters , Tuesday 10 Feb 2015

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman looks across the pitch ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Queens Park Rangers and Southampton at Loftus Road, London, England, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 (Photo: AP)

Dutchman Ronald Koeman appeared to kill off any speculation that the lure of Barcelona would see him quit his job as Southampton manager when he said on Tuesday he was happy at the club and would see out his contract on England's south coast.

Southampton have thrived during Koeman's first season in England and have been in contention for a Champions League place for the whole campaign.

Apart from a brief dip in form in December, they have been in the top four since early September and with 14 matches to play they are third, with one defeat in their last eight league games.

Reports in Spain have linked Koeman with a move back to Barcelona where he played from 1989-1995, making over 260 appearances and scoring 88 goals including the one that gave them victory in the 1992 European Cup final win over Sampdoria.

"I have been linked with Barcelona in the past and I will be in the future but I can't do anything about that," Koeman told reporters before Wednesday's match against West Ham:

"I have to respect my contract I like to respect my contract and I am very happy in my job.

"The future does not mean this season, it maybe means about seven years -- you never know.

"Of course I had a great time there. The longest period of my time as a player was at Barcelona and it's normal that I have that feeling with them and they have that feeling with me, but there is no reason to be afraid about that"

Asked if you he would be at Southampton for the full three years of his contract he replied: "Yes, of course".

Southampton beat West Ham 3-1 at Upton Park in August and Koeman confirmed that Serbian midfielder Filip Djuricic, who has signed on loan from Benfica, will be in the squad after having his work permit approved.

But defender Matt Targett will not be involved after leaving the field during the 1-0 win at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday in a neck brace.

"The risk is too high after what happened last Saturday," Koeman said.

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