Ernesto Valverde set to be unveiled as new Barcelona boss
Former Athletic Bilbao manager expected to be announced in Monday press conference
Ernesto Valverde is expected to be unveiled as the new manager of Barcelona on Monday night. Photograph: Ander Gillenea/AFP
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said last week the club would announce Luis Enrique’s successor on May 29th, and the Catalan giants have called a press conference for 7.0 local time.
The club have not announced what the conference, held by Bartomeu, will include but it takes place following a board meeting and should see the Catalan giants’ new coach unveiled.
Valverde has been the reported front-runner for the job for some time and he last week stepped down as Athletic Bilbao boss.
Since then, two other names that had been closely linked to the Barca job, Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli and Enrique’s assistant Juan Carlos Unzue, have been ruled out with the former poised to take over Argentina and the latter on Sunday becoming the new Celta Vigo coach.
The 53-year-old Valverde is a former Barca player, helping the club win the Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup (1989) and Copa del Rey (1990) during two years at the Nou Camp under Johan Cruyff, while a 15-year coaching career has included spells at Espanyol, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Valencia.
Barca have been searching for a new boss since Enrique announced in March that this would be his final season, and his last game in charge was Saturday’s Copa del Rey final victory over Alaves.
That was the ninth trophy Barca had won during the 47-year-old Enrique’s three years in the hotseat, which included league and cup doubles in 2015 and 2016.
Barca were unable to make it a hat-trick of doubles this season as they finished runners-up in LaLiga to Real Madrid, while in the Champions League they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Juventus.