Is this the new Barcelona manager? Bilbao confirm Ernesto Valverde's departure

by Leon Thompson June 5, 2017, 6:46
Is this the new Barcelona manager? Bilbao confirm Ernesto Valverde's departure

While it's yet to be confirmed, it's now an open secret that Ernesto Valverde will be the next Barca coach after he left his post at Athletic Bilbao.

Valverde, 53, has been tipped to take over from Luis Enrique at the Nou Camp ever since it became apparent the position would be available in the summer.

Bilbao president Josu Urrutia, who sat alongside Valverde at the press conference, praised the manager's efforts and commitment to the club.

The deal was expected to be announced after the Copa del Rey final between the Catalans and Alaves on Saturday (27 May).

The former Espanyol, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Valencia boss also helped Athletic lift their first silverware in three decades when he masterminded a 5-1 aggregate defeat of Barca to win the 2015 Spanish Super Cup.

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Richard Wright, General Manager of New Balance Football, said: "We are delighted that Athletic Club has joined New Balance Football, we are looking forward to working closely with a great club with such fantastic traditions". "I haven't reached an agreement with any one club yet, but I do have an offer from an important club".

"Ernesto Valverde will not continue as coach of the Athletic Club first team in the 2017-18 campaign", read a brief Athletic statement released on Tuesday. "I have an agent and there are teams that have shown interest in me".

"I feel my work here is done", Valverde said.


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