Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is said to be considering his future at the club despite being days away from winning the double in his first season.
The 54-year-old moved to the Camp Nou from Athletic Bilbao last summer and despite leading his side to domestic dominance this season, his relationship with the club’s board is said to be strained.
Diario AS reports Valverde, who has a deal with Barca until June 2019, is considering leaving the Catalan giants despite winning the Copa del Rey and needing just one point from five games to win La Liga.
A report in El Mundo Deportivo on Saturday, reportedly leaked directly from the club’s board, suggested the Coach would be dismissed should he fail to defeat Sevilla in the Copa final. As it turned out, the Blaugrana triumphed 5-0 but the club’s exit in the Champions League quarter-finals at the hands of Roma is said to have infuriated the board.
As well as feeling he has been hung out to dry by the club’s suits, Valverde feels he has not been supported by the club’s various sporting directors, including former Liverpool academy manager Pep Segura who is now the club’s general manager.
The players reportedly support Valverde and were hugely upset at the report in El Mundo Deportivo, claim AS, but nonetheless the possibility of a summer exit is real.
For all the success that Barcelona have enjoyed this decade, if Valverde leaves at the end of the season, the man who replaces him will be Barca’s fifth manager since Pep Guardiola left in 2012. That is a remarkable turnover in managers in six years.
If Valverde were to walk away he could even become a late wild card entry into the field for the vacant Arsenal manager’s job. According to reports in England, Valverde is believed to have long-term plans to manage in the Premier League ne day and has shown this season that he is capable of steering a big club to success.
BARCELONA’S LAST FIVE MANAGERS
- Ernesto Valverde – 2017-present
- Luis Enrique – 2014-2017
- Gerardo Martina – 2013-2014
- Tito Vilanova – 2012-2013
- Pep Guardiola – 2008-2012
Do you think Ernesto Valverde will leave FC Barcelona at the end of the season?