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Barcelona director Abidal: Netherlands boss Koeman 'fits criteria'

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Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has said Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman fits the criteria to coach Barcelona one day but that Ernesto Valverde retains the club's backing.

It was revealed recently that Koeman's contract with the Netherlands includes a clause that would allow him to join Barca after next summer's European Championships if the Catalan club come calling. 

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The pressure has been growing on Valverde in recent weeks, with sources having told ESPN FC the club are concerned about the side's performances

There were calls for Valverde to be sacked after the losses to Liverpool and Valencia in the Champions League and Copa del Rey at the end of last season and three defeats in 12 league games this season has seen more doubt cast on his future.

"The list of potential coaches for this club is very short," Abidal told Mundo Deportivo. "The information about the Koeman clause is generally well-known now. But it's not his decision, it's the club's.

"[Koeman] meets the criteria [to coach the club], but I have not spoken with anyone [about the job] because I have a lot of respect for Ernesto."

Asked who will be in charge next season, Abidal added: "It will probably be Ernesto because he has a contract [until 2021]. There are no doubts there."

Abidal also said that €120 million summer signing Antoine Griezmann has not yet found his best form since moving to Camp Nou.

The former Atletico Madrid forward has scored four goals since joining the club but has failed to find the back of the net in his last five matches and has struggled to get involved in the play from a wide left position.

"I speak with Antoine a lot," Abidal said. "He is playing a different position and he knows it's tough to adapt.

"The movements are different [at Barcelona] but he's a player that can add a lot -- the coach knows that. He knows he is not at his best and that's only fixed by working hard."

Griezmann, who scored in France's win over Albania on Sunday, also said over the weekend that it's not been an easy start to life at Barca.

"Barcelona is not the easiest place to play," he told Telefoot. "It's a new team, a different club, new tactics.

"But you have to work hard and I'm proud of where I am. They believe in me and everything else will come."

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