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Southampton manager Ronald Koeman rubbishes Chelsea links

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

On Friday, the former Barcelona star and now Southampton manager Ronald Koeman gave a short interview to Dutch radio station Radio 538.  As one of the three Dutch managers in the Premier League, there was plenty to talk about in those five minutes, including Southampton's matchup against Old Salty Dog van Gaal this weekend as well as old pal Guus Hiddink's return at Chelsea (Koeman and Hiddink worked together at PSV and the Dutch national team as well).

Here's the original interview if you want to listen.  It's in Dutch, obviously.

At some point, Koeman is asked about future ambitions and he, as a man of ambition, turns out to have plenty of ambition.  Just as most people in the professional game.  And while he's received plaudits for his work at Southampton, he obviously wouldn't mind trading up to an even bigger team at some point in the future.

"It [managing a top club] is certainly something that I always have at the back of my mind. I always want to achieve the highest possible level. That has happened in Holland and that's what I'd really like to achieve abroad."

"If Guus puts a good word in for me [at Chelsea], that would be a big influence."

-Ronald Koeman; source: Radio 538 via FourFourTwo

Whether he was serious or just joking about that last bit, it's been turned into a big story over the last few hours.  Perhaps it's a bit of both, using a joke to drop a hint, plant an idea, and test the waters while being able to deny it all the next day.

To wit.

"That's the problem when you do an interview in Dutch. It's all bulls***. You can't win when you talk to them."

"I continue at Southampton and I still have one year on my contract. After that, who knows. I didn't say anything about Chelsea, I got asked about Chelsea and about Hiddink so I answered. It's all bulls***."

-Ronald Koeman; source: Goal

So, perhaps one day.  But not right now.  Then again, while Koeman is probably not anywhere near the top of Abramovich's shortlist, he may yet end up a more realistic candidate this summer than any of Simeone, Guardiola, Allegri, and the like.

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