Sunday, February 17, 2019

Barcelona president Bartomeu convinced Valverde will stay

SoccerNews in La Liga 16 Jan 2019

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is convinced head coach Ernesto Valverde will still be in charge at Camp Nou next season.

Valverde’s future with the LaLiga champions was thrown into doubt last month when he told Barca’s in-house TV channel he did not know for sure if he would be at the club in the 2019-2020 campaign.

Both Barca and Valverde have an option in his contract to terminate his deal at the end of the season.

Despite leading Barca to a LaLiga and Copa del Rey double in his debut campaign in the dugout, Valverde’s perceived pragmatic style has drawn its detractors.

But Bartomeu is delighted with the job the former Athletic Bilbao coach is doing and does not foresee him departing.

Speaking to Sport, Bartomeu said: “We don’t have any doubts here that Valverde will be the Barcelona coach next season. 

“We will speak with him, of course, in time. That’s what we agreed. He’s a coach we have a lot of confidence in. 

“He’s doing a great job. He’s an intelligent person, he knows Barcelona’s system of play and he manages the games in a way which we like.”

Bartomeu also spoke about the future of Spain full-back Jordi Alba, who in November said it was “strange” that talks over a new deal had not begun despite his contract running out in 2020.

The Barca president, though, says 29-year-old Alba is part of the club’s long-term plans. 

“Of course he will continue,” he added. ” We are already working with him for a long renewal, for the next five years.”

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