Barcelona president: No doubt Valverde will be manager next season

Photo of Barcelona president: No doubt Valverde will be manager next season
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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has moved to clear up uncertainty surrounding the future of head coach Ernesto Valverde by insisting the 54-year-old will still be in charge of the club after the end of the current campaign.

"We don't have any doubts here that Valverde will be the Barcelona coach next season," Bartomeu told Sport's Albert Masnou. "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."

Until this point, it had not been entirely clear whether La Blaugrana saw Valverde in their future. Barca are five points clear at the top of La Liga but have lost twice in the league this term and suffered a disappointing quarter-final exit during last season's Champions League at the hands of Roma.

Valverde is in the second year of a two-year deal he signed to replace Luis Enrique at Camp Nou in May 2017, but there is an option in his contract to extend his stay for a third term. His own rhetoric on his future has been rather guarded, but it's apparent that the club's wish is for him to stay on, with the team still on track for a domestic and European treble.

Barcelona will host Levante in the second leg of the Copa del Rey last 16 on Thursday, needing to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the teams' first meeting last week.

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