•Koeman made it clear he would like some new arrivals to help his side recover from their worst La Liga start since 1987-88.
•Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane likes to repeat that his squad is the best and needs no additions or departures
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman revealed on Tuesday that he has made a list of players he wants to add and let go in the January transfer window, whilst acknowledging the club’s frail financial situation may not allow him to get the personnel he wants.
While Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane likes to repeat that his squad is the best and needs no additions or departures, Koeman made it clear he would like some new arrivals to help his side recover from their worst La Liga start since 1987-88.
“Every coach always looks at the month of January as a chance to improve their squad and I’m the same,” he told a news conference on the eve of their game at Athletic Bilbao.
“All I’ve done is to come up with a plan of players that could leave and a list of players that it would be interesting to bring in. But it depends on the club.”
Barca are unlikely to hand the Dutchman a transfer war chest, however, as the novel coronavirus pandemic has hit their revenues and the club recently announced it had been forced to delay January payments to players.
Carles Alena looks like being the first player to head out of the door as Koeman said the midfielder has been given permission to find a new team on loan. Spanish media said he has agreed to join Getafe.
Barca, who are fifth on 28 points from 16 games and trail leaders Atletico Madrid by 10 having played a game more, have lost 1-0 on their last two visits to Athletic in all competitions and last scored there in a 2-0 win in 2017.
The Basques are ninth on 21 from 17 matches and will be playing their first game under new coach Marcelino, who has happy memories of his last match against the Catalans when his Valencia side beat them 2-1 in the 2019 Copa del Rey final. Elsewhere, Los Angeles Galaxy reconnected with their past Tuesday, naming Greg Vanney as head coach.
The former Galaxy defender was named to the spot that was left vacant when Guillermo Barros Schelotto was fired in October.
Vanney stepped down as head coach of Toronto FC on Dec. 1 and rumors quickly escalated about a potential reunion with the Galaxy.
Vanney, 46, was an MLS All-Star as a player with the Galaxy from 1996-2002 and again in 2008, his final season. He was instrumental in helping the franchise to its first three MLS Cup finals.
“The LA Galaxy are an iconic club with a rich history in Los Angeles, MLS and North American soccer over the last 25 years,” Vanney said in a statement. “I want to thank (general manager) Dennis te Kloese, (president) Chris Klein, Dan Beckerman (president of AEG, the Galaxy’s parent company) and Mr. Anschutz (owner) for the opportunity to coach this team and represent a club so close to my heart.
“I am committed to working tirelessly for this club, our fans and Los Angeles to win a championship. I look forward to this new challenge in my career and am eager to get started.”
After the Galaxy parted ways with Schelotto, Dom Kinnear served as the interim coach for the remainder of the 2020 season. Los Angeles has missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, losing 57 games in that four-year stretch. They were 6-12-4 in 2020 and their 27 goals scored were next to last in the Western Conference.