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Everton's Ronald Koeman: Managing Barcelona one day is a dream

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has told Diario Sport that taking charge at his former club Barcelona is one of two dreams he has in management, though he does not plan to leave Goodison Park.

Koeman, who said the other was to take charge of his native Netherlands, scored the winner when Barca lifted their first-ever European Cup in 1992.

His history with the club -- where he also spent two years as Louis van Gaal's assistant between 1998 and 2000 -- has seen him linked with the job when Luis Enrique leaves at the end of the season.

Although Ernesto Valverde and Juan Carlos Unzue remain the leading contenders, Koeman said: "I feel flattered and I like that I am thought of.

"Everyone knows I'm a Barca man, they know my love for the club where I grew as a player and a person. And like everyone, I am an ambitious person -- I think there are always things left to be done.

"I am at Everton, which is also an important project. The club want to strengthen and want to play in the Champions League, but of course I have dreams as a person."

Koeman said he had "a lot of love" for Barcelona and added: "To one day be the manager of Barcelona... perfect.

"Another dream is to be the Holland manager. Both Barcelona and Holland, if there is a chance in the future -- and the future can be very long -- I would be delighted."

Koeman stressed that his love for Barcelona meant he could never consider taking the top job at bitter rivals Real Madrid.

"I respect Madrid as a team and an institution," he said. "But someone as significant as I am with Barca, with their history, couldn't coach them."

But at a news conference on Thursday, Koeman insisted he would see out his contract with Everton.

He said: "I think I mentioned several times it is human ambition and that means for players and for managers -- and that has not changed my position or my contract with Everton. There is no chance I will leave Everton before the end of my contract.

"The last two years, when I was at Southampton sometimes, there were stories about Barcelona -- that happened when I left Barcelona [as assistant]. I am still not in Barcelona and I don't expect I will be the new manager.

"I am really happy to be at Everton and I am looking forward to next season. It is a big project and I will be part of that project."

Koeman has guided the club to a guaranteed seventh-place finish in the Premier League and he has aspirations for breaking into the top six and even the Champions League.

"When I got the offer of Everton it was not about this season, it was about a project that we would like to change things and develop the team and make the team strong and have really good competition to the big six in the Premier League," he added. "Already this season we have shown we are close but not close enough.

"It is really difficult and I think it is a big compliment to the players what we have achieved this season but for next season we like to improve and we want to do more."

One player who will not be part of that future is striker Arouna Kone, who has not made a Premier League start since the end of last season and has managed just seven substitute appearances.

"He has finished his contract and he will leave the club at the end of the season," said Koeman.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


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