Published: Tue, January 14, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Barcelona in crisis? Coach Ernesto Valverde faces uncertain future

Barcelona in crisis? Coach Ernesto Valverde faces uncertain future

And while the 55-year-old has delivered back-to-back Primera Division titles and now has the Blaugrana sitting at the top of La Liga - albeit on goal difference - European disappointment is not the only black mark next to Valverde's name.

Setien has made no secret of his admiration for the stylistic traditions of Barcelona, with the 61-year-old also renowned for favouring an exciting, offensive mode of football.

The club called Setien, who will be officially introduced on Tuesday at Camp Nou Stadium, "one of the most experienced coaches in Spanish football".

He will also have to do without Luis Suarez, who will be missing for the next four months after having surgery on his right knee.

They return to action on Sunday against Granada and it remains to be seen who will be in the Nou Camp home dugout.

His departure came with Barcelona leading the Spanish league, and a few weeks from facing Napoli in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

Valverde situation: "What comes to my mind a little, if all this is so, is that the way everything is being done is a bit ugly".

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Doubts had surrounded Valverde for several months and were underpinned by two disastrous exits from the Champions League.

"The final decision is in the hands of Al-Sadd's management, in the hands of the manager and the hands of Barcelona's management".

The tide appeared to turn against the coach after a 2-2 draw at struggling Espanyol which was followed by a 3-2 defeat by Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals.

The former Athletic Bilbao coach's position has been described as untenable, with president Josep Maria Bartomeu and directors Javier Bordas, Oscar Grau and Eric Abidal locked in discussions late on Sunday night. "Both of them have been at Barca and know the club".

Strong speculation has claimed club directors used the trip to Saudi Arabia to open talks with Xavi regarding the possibility of replacing Valverde, but the 39-year-old - who is in charge of Qatari club Al Sadd - is said to have told them he is only willing to take over at the end of the season.

Increasingly, though, Valverde's achievements faded from view and his failures began to overshadow them.

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