English Premiership

Poor contract offer behind Southampton exit, says Koeman

Ronald Koeman (Getty Images)
Ronald Koeman (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Ronald Koeman has revealed that a “really disappointing” contract offer was behind his decision to swap Southampton for Everton during the summer.

Koeman enjoyed two successful seasons at Southampton after leading the club to their highest-ever Premier League finish of sixth and qualifying for the Europa League.

However, the former Holland international decided to leave St Mary’s in the close season and move to Everton, despite the Toffees finishing in the bottom half of the table last year.

“The main reason was that we did not agree about my last year of contract,” Koeman told the BBC.

“I mentioned to the club I would like to continue and go into my last year, then during the season we would have time to discuss about the future.

“There was no way for the club to do that, they came with the new offer and I was really disappointed about the offer to continue in Southampton.

“With Everton, you start to listen to the project, and I say ok, it’s a good time to move now, because it may be impossible to keep that level with Southampton.”

Koeman believes that Champions League football is eventually possible for Everton after the injection of capital provided by new owner Farhad Moshiri.

“This season, Everton will fight for European football, but to beat the big ones in the Premier League will be, I don't say impossible, but very difficult,” added Koeman.

“Next season we need to improve, we will get new signings and that makes the team stronger, then in the final three years, for Everton we need to be close to getting Champions League football.

“I think at the moment we are at maybe 60% of the whole project.”

Everton welcome Swansea City to Goodison Park on Saturday with Koeman's men looking to improve on their current position where they sit in 7th position, eight points behind Merseyside rivals, Liverpool.

Kick off is at 17:00.