Ernesto Valverde To be Sacked By FC Barcelona
Barcelona Fc inform its manager Ernesto Valverde that he will be fired. According to both Catalunya Radio and Onda Cero (h/t Football Espana), the Spanish champions have begun negotiations with the coach over his exit.
The 55-year-old, who represented Barca as a player, is set to part ways with the Blaugrana after they lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals on Thursday.
His side lead La Liga on goal difference, but confidence in his ability has depleted.
The club will part with Valverde with no clear indication of an immediate successor.
The Guardian’s Sid Lowe wrote that club legend Xavi, who manages Al Sadd in Qatar, had turned down an approach to take over in January out of respect for Valverde—though he could be appointed in the summer.
Barcelona were recently hit by the news that striker Luis Suarez will be out of action for four months. A club statement said he underwent surgery following an injury to the “lateral meniscus in his right knee”(h/t Reuters).
Valverde’s side successfully retained the league title last season but lost 2-1 to Valencia in the 2019 Copa del Rey final.
Barcelona also fell short in the 2018/19 Champions League, letting a 3-0 first-leg lead slip against Liverpool in the semi-finals. It was a second wasted opportunity in Europe on Valverde’s watch after his side were knocked out by AS Roma in the last eight of the previous campaign despite winning the first leg 4-1.