Barcelona president backs Valverde

Barcelona president backs Valverde

Agency News

Madrid, May 29 : Ernesto Valverde looks likely to continue as coach of FC Barcelona for a third season, despite a disappointing end to a campaign which saw them fail to reach the Champions League final after a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Liverpool, and also lose last weekend's Copa del Rey final 2-1 to Valencia.

Catalan radio station RAC1 broadcast on Tuesday that Valverde, who has led the club to consecutive La Liga titles, the 2018 Copa del Rey and the 2018 Spanish Supercup in his two seasons at the Camp Nou, would be sacked within a matter of hours.

However, that news was contradicted by another radio station, Cadena Ser, which reported that FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu had confirmed Valverde would remain at the club for the 2019-20 season.

Bartomeu is reported to have told journalists that last Saturday's defeat, where Barca were without key players Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, "was not the coach's fault."

In this, the Barca president seems to be backing the train of thought which considers that many of the problems that emerged towards the end of the season were the result of poor planning which left Valverde to once again work with an unbalanced squad.

Barcelona sold striker Munir to Sevilla in January, replacing him with the ineffective Kevin-Prince Boeteng, while Colombian defender Jeison Murillo did little to compensate for Samuel Umtiti's injury issues and there is still no natural midfield cover for the aging Sergio Busquets.

Valverde's supporters have been quick to point out that the first player he requested that Barcelona sign two seasons ago was Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo, who never arrived and was instrumental in orchestrating Barca's defeat at the weekend.

Another factor for Bartomeu supporting Valverde is that neither Roberto Martinez nor Ronald Koeman, who would be among the favorites to take over at the Camp Nou, seem currently keen to leave their respective positions as head coach of the Belgian and Dutch national teams.