Former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes that Southampton are at risk of losing highly-rated boss Ronald Koeman to Barcelona.
The Saints are currently third in the Premier League with the season now past the midway point, with the Dutchman’s influence and tactical awareness having been credited as a key factor in the club’s rise.
Koeman himself succeeded another impressive coach in the shape of Mauricio Pochettino – who joined Tottenham Hotspur – over the summer, and was immediately subjected to the losses of key players such as captain Adam Lallana and top scorer Rickie Lambert, as well as Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw.
And with Barca – whom he starred for in his playing days – rumoured to be eyeing the Dutch gaffer as a potential replacement for under-pressure boss Luis Enrique, Hoddle believes Southampton could once again lose their man in the dugout:
“If the likes of Barcelona come knocking on his door, yes he’s going to leave Southampton for sure.” He told Zapsportz.com.
“Koeman was an outstanding player with Barcelona and he has been a coach there as well as with other teams in Europe,
“He has made his mark with them, but arguably more so now with what he has achieved in such a short space of time with Southampton.
“And if it’s not Barcelona then a top, top club is sure to want to recruit Koeman. That would hardly be a surprise. Barcelona won’t be alone in wanting Koeman.
“His work at Southampton is sure to be recognised here in England and throughout Europe.
“So, yes there is a big chance that he might leave at the end of the season which will be a huge blow for the club.”