Southampton’s Koeman cools down link with Barca’s managerial job

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has distanced himself from speculation linking him to Barcelona.

The Dutchman has earned many plaudits for the way his Southampton side have acquitted themselves this season, with the south coast club currently sitting fourth in the Premier league. This has led to suggestions that he could be a candidate to replace Barcelona manager Luis Enrique who reportedly has a strained relationship with several of his players — including Lionel Messi.

Koeman played almost 200 times for the Catalan giants between 1989 and 1995 and scored the winning goal for the Catalan giants in the 1992 European Cup final win over Sampdoria.

"If teams like Barcelona lose games there is always a lot of critics, rumours, speculations," Koeman said ahead of his side’s visit to Manchester United this weekend. "And I know that, because my whole life I am linked to Barcelona. But it is not a time to talk about that."

Koeman added: "It is not respectful to the people of Southampton or Barcelona. I am very happy to be here. I started a contract in Southampton, and I like to respect my contract and the people."

Koeman insists nobody will be leaving Southampton this January and suggested one more player could be coming in following the arrival of Dutch international winger Eljero Elia on loan from Werder Bremen.

"We won’t be so busy. We already signed one player — nobody will leave the club," he said. "Maybe we will bring in another player. Maybe, but there is no update, no news at the moment. We have time until the end of the month, but I am not so busy in the transfer window. It is very quiet."

Southampton are reportedly considering a move for Porto defender Bruno Martins Indi, according to Sky sources. The Holland international played under St. Mary’s boss at Feynoord until both left the club last summer. And Southampton scouts have been watching the 22-year-old throughout his first few months in Portuguese football.

Martins Indi can play at left back or centerback and was a regular starter in the Dutch team that finished third at last summer’s World Cup. Southampton could wait until the end of the season before making a move.