Barcelona are reportedly set to sack manager Ernesto Valverde, with reports in Spain stating that the announcement could be made as early as Tuesday.
Daily Mail and several Spanish outlets have been reporting the breaking news of Ernesto Valverde closing in on a departure from Barcelona. The Catalan giants seem to have decided to part ways with the Spaniard, who is likely to vacate the managerial spot as early as today.
The report states that the Champions League debacle against Liverpool has played an important role in Barcelona’s decision to sack Valverde. But, the final nail in the coffin proved to be their 2-1 defeat to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final, which saw Barcelona limited to just the La Liga title and the Spanish Super Cup.
The news is particularly surprising, with Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu and the players publicly backing the manager after the Copa del Rey defeat. Bartomeu had assured in his statement that Valverde has a contract and is the Barcelona coach, refusing to blame the manager for the failure to beat Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.
“We won the league, so it has been an important season. Valverde has a contract and is the coach. This defeat was not the fault of our coach… (and) I wouldn’t consider this season a failure. It was very good without being excellent. We lost a couple of matches here and at Anfield that cost us two titles.”
But, as it seems, the Barcelona board has indeed blamed Valverde, who has overseen two Barcelona debacles in the Champions League during his tenure – first by AS Roma and this season by Liverpool. Add to that the decline in performances by Barcelona in La Liga itself towards the second half of the season after establishing a healthy lead early on and the 2018-19 campaign has been far from a successful one for Barcelona, judging by the potential of winning a quadruple till March.
Daily Mail have credited RAC1 while there have been reports from El Mundo and other Spanish outlets of the sack. It seems like a fairly logical decision from Barcelona to let go of Valverde and bring in a new manager this summer, especially with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both set to undergo their respective struggles – Real Madrid are set for a rebuild and Atletico are resigned to lose several key stars this summer.
While the reports state Roberto Martinez as one of the frontrunners for the Barcelona job, there are sure to be other candidates in the running as well.