Barcelona are reportedly considering Laurent Blanc as the possible manager to succeed Ernesto Valverde, who is non-committal over a new deal.
If a report by Spanish outlet Don Balon is to be believed, Laurent Blanc’s name has been put on the table by Barcelona’s technical secretary Eric Abidal as a possible candidate to replace Ernesto Valverde. The Basque coach’s future at Camp Nou is uncertain, with no progress over a renewal.
Valverde has enjoyed a solid stint since taking over as the Barcelona boss from Luis Enrique ahead of the 2017-18 season. In what a stunning maiden league campaign in charge of the club, Valverde guided the Blaugrana to a record-breaking La Liga triumph, where they came within two games of becoming the first ever side to go an entire season unbeaten.
In addition to reclaiming the league title, Barcelona also lifted the Copa del Rey for a record extending 30th time. The only blemish in an otherwise impressive campaign was the Catalans’ ouster from the Champions League from the quarter-finals, where they squandered a three-goal lead to bow out at the hands of AS Roma.
Overall though, it was a strong campaign, which has been followed by a blistering start to the 2018-19 La Liga season. However, Valverde had initially only signed a two-year contract, which is set to run out at the end of the current campaign, and there has been no progress made over a new deal, which is putting Barcelona on their toes.
While it is still believed that the 54-year-old will put pen to paper on a new deal sometime in the second half of the season, his personal stance is of being non-committal and focusing on producing results on the pitch. In all this though, Barcelona are keeping their options open, with Laurent Blanc now identified as a contingency plan.
Blanc is without a job since he parted ways with PSG at the end of the 2015-16 season, but there has been no shortage of speculation linking him with high profile jobs. This past summer, he was one of the major targets for Chelsea to replace Antonio Conte before Maurizio Sarri came calling.
But, in Barcelona, the Frenchman will have an even bigger profile of job potentially waiting for him. The La Liga champions believe that Blanc knows the “Barca way”, having played for the club at the peak of his powers, and would make the transition smoother, should Valverde call it quits come the end of the season.
The Frenchman indeed presents an attractive proposition for Barcelona to replace Valverde, having enjoyed considerable success managing Bordeaux and PSG. For now though, it looks likely that Valverde will stay put at Camp Nou, renewing his deal sometime in the second half of the season.