Premier League: Ronald Koeman says he will see out contract at Southampton
Last Updated: 11/02/15 3:32pm
Ronald Koeman has appeared to kill off any speculation that the lure of Barcelona would see him quit his job as Southampton manager.
Koeman insisted he is 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.
I have to respect my contract I like to respect my contract and I am very happy in my job.
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 said ahead of 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.
Koeman accepts Southampton "will lose some players" this summer, but insists it will be nothing like last year's talent drain from St Mary's.
"I don't think so much as last season, but if we have this run until the end of the season, okay, we know we can't do the battle with the big ones," he said.
"Then, okay, it's always a possibility that you will lose one or two players. (European football) maybe makes the choice for some players a little bit more difficult, yes, I agree."