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Valverde leaving Bilbao amid Barcelona speculation

  • Published at 07:52 am May 24th, 2017
Valverde leaving Bilbao amid Barcelona speculation
Ernesto Valverde will not coach Athletic Bilbao next season, the Basque club announced on Tuesday, amid strong reports in Spain that he will become Barcelona's next manager. Valverde's contract expires in June, like that of current Barca coach Luis Enrique, and most expect Valverde to replace the Asturian, who in March announced he was leaving at the end of the season. Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu will reveal the board's decision over a new coach next Monday. Former Barca player Valverde, 53, steered Bilbao to seventh place in La Liga this season, but has decided to call time on his second managerial stint at the San Mames. Valverde has coached Bilbao since 2013, previously taking the reins between 2003 and 2005, before being appointed at Barca's city rival Espanyol (2006-08) as well as Olympiacos twice, Villarreal and Valencia.