Barcelona president: We are very happy with Valverde

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is seen before the La Liga match against Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou in Barcelona December 22, 2018. ― Reuters pic
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is seen before the La Liga match against Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou in Barcelona December 22, 2018. ― Reuters pic

MADRID, May 16 — Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has indicated Ernesto Valverde’s position as coach is safe, regardless of what happens in the Copa del Rey final.

Barca play Valencia in Seville on May 25, when victory would secure them a second domestic double in as many seasons.

But their collapse at the hands of Liverpool in the Champions League last week has left Valverde’s future uncertain, with some reports suggesting defeat in the cup final will see him sacked.

“Ernesto already said the other day that he has the support of the president and the board because he is the coach we want,” Bartomeu said at a book launch in Barcelona today.

“He has a contract and we are very happy with him.”

Valverde has led Barca to consecutive La Liga titles but failed to end the club’s malaise in Europe, where they have not reached the final since 2015.

“The planning for next season has been under way for some time,” Bartomeu added.

“Now it is about the players recovering from the mental shock that we suffered. But the result of the Copa final will not be decisive for anyone.”

Barcelona sit 11 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid in the table, ahead of their final league game away at Eibar on Sunday. — AFP