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16-Sep-2020, 06:56 am

'It was a conflict between Messi and the club' - Koeman insists he has good relationship with Barcelona star

Lionel Messi Ronald Koeman Barcelona GFX

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has insisted that there is no conflict between himself and Lionel Messi, following the club legend's decision to reverse course and stay with the Catalan side.

However, the 33-year old reversed course earlier this month, telling Goal that he would stay at the club rather than become embroiled in a messy legal battle.

Messi has now returned to Barcelona ahead of the new season with his future in doubt, having entered the final season of his contract.

Koeman, who was brought in to replace Quique Setien after the defeat to Bayern, has said that any conflict that exists is between the player and club, and that he and Messi have spoken multiple times since the Argentine declared his intention to stay at Camp Nou.

"That has passed me reasonably well," the former Netherlands national team coach told Fox Sports. "That was mainly a conflict between Messi and the club. I have spoken to Messi since then and we will continue as usual."

Part of Messi's gripes with Barcelona involved the club's poor recruiting in recent seasons, as club legends like Xavi and Andres Iniesta have departed and were notadequately replaced.

Though Barcelona have been linked with a host of names this summer,Koeman has admitted that his side appear likely to begin the new season with the squad they currently have.

"We are now working towards the new season and I assume that we are going to do it with this group with which we are the preparation," Koeman said.

Lyon star Memphis Depay, whom Koeman coached with the Netherlands, is one of the players who has been most consistently linked with a move to Camp Nou.

However, Lyonpresident Jean-Michel Aulas has said thatBarcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu personally told him the Catalan giants did not have the funds to make an offer.

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