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Iraola happy with contract situation amidst Barcelona speculation

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AFC Bournemouth head coach Andoni Iraola has impressed more than just the Cherries supporters since he made the move to Dean Court to become the new head coach.

His exciting brand of football, marries perfectly with the Cherries, who have been known as an attacking expansive side under former manager Eddie Howe.

That philosophy and identity were briefly lost under former incumbents Jason Tindall, Jonathan Woodgate, Scott Parker and Gary O’Neil, but after a brief period of teething problems, the Cherries have kicked on, becoming one of the in-form sides in the Premier League and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Iraola was named as the Premier League manager of the month for March, whilst ahead of the game against Manchester United, the website suggested that United should be considering Iraola as their next manager, whilst Iraola has also been linked with European giants Barcelona. have reported on links across Spanish media and have stated that “Iraola has not been suggested as a candidate for the (Barcelona) job this summer, but they are keeping a close eye on him.”

The usual media speculation was given even further substance when Barcelona Sporting Director Deco was quoted listing Andoni Iraola as “a top coach” alongside the likes of Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mikel Arteta and Sergio Conceicao.

Unsurprisingly, with the rapport that Iraola and his brand of football have built with the Dean Court faithful, many would like AFC Bournemouth owner Bill Foley to offer Iraola a new contract.

Currently, the 41-year-old is contracted on the south coast until the end of the 2024/25 campaign, a situation which is unusual for Iraola, who previously only worked with one-year deals at former clubs AEK Larnaca, Mirandés and Rayo Vallecano.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Iraola said…

“For me, it is the first time I think I am going to finish a season with a contract already for next season.

“I am trying to remember, but I think it is the first time.

“Because normally, in Rayo I was there three seasons, but every year we signed at the end of the season – ‘you are happy, I am happy, yes, we continue, one more year’.

“It was like this, even at Mirandes it was similar. But now I have a contract for next year, so it is easier and better.”

Asked if that made him relaxed on the matter, Iraola added…

“Yes. I am used to these things at the end of the seasons, but this year, at this moment, this is not the case for me.

“It is the first time I think.”

Your say…

thegazzyb wrote…

Personally, I am still expecting a contract extension of at least one further season to be announced in the summer. Iraola and the club have had a full season to get to know one another and the playing side is on an upwards trajectory. It’s a different situation to the one he faced last summer and even then he was prepared to commit to two seasons.
Bill will want a guarantee of some stability on the managerial side and I suspect that if AI’s family is feeling settled here, he’d be happy to oblige in the summer. – To join the conversation, click here.

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