Ernesto Valverde has been the topic of discussion in Bilbao for months now. The Athletic Club manager is out of contract at the end of this season and is believed to have received an offer to take over at Barcelona, while also getting interest from other clubs like Arsenal and Sevilla. Txingurri has remained quiet over his future, but it now looks like he may have finally made a decision.
According to a breaking report from Javi Beltran of AS, Valverde has told President Josu Urrutia that he will be leaving Athletic Club at the end of this season.
The report says that Valverde’s main reason for leaving is that he believes he has taken the team as far as he can and that a new leader is needed to continue improving. Beltran states that Valverde has refused to listen to offers from other clubs and will not do so until his current contract with Athletic officials runs out on 30 June. President Urrutia still believes that he can convince Valverde to stay by making a few big summer signings with Alex Berengeuer and Mikel Merino being the biggest targets for the upcoming transfer window.
Valverde has always been the type of manager to not stay in one place for very long. His four years at Athletic are the longest he has ever stayed at one club, believing that a manager can grow stagnant over time. Beltran says that Valverde may take a few months off before making any decision, but that he could still change his mind if President Urrutia can convince him to stay in Bilbao. Unless something changes, Bilbao Athletic manager Cuco Ziganda will take over for Ernesto Valverde when the season comes to a close. Ziganda has been the top choice since the beginning and is seen as someone who can continue building the club, utilizing youth, and keep the Athletic identity strong and intact.