Ajax coach Ronald Koeman has admitted that he has been approached by several candidates involved in the race to become the next Barcelona president, but says he will remain with the Dutch side until 2004.

“I have given my word to Ajax that I will fulfil my contract which runs until 2004,” the former Barcelona player told the Catalan newspaper El Periodico on.

“The club (Ajax) know that I would love to coach Barcelona but I signed a contract for two and a half years and until then I will devote myself to Ajax. I don’t want to break my word even if it is for Barcelona.”

Koeman, who scored the winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final against Sampdoria and was part of the club’s most successful ever team under coach Johan Cruyff, is regarded as the ideal candidate to heal the divisions at the club.

Moreover, Koeman has attracted plaudits for leading his young Ajax side to the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League.