In his first season as Athletic Club manager, Kuko Ziganda has led the team to one of the worst seasons in recent memory. For several months now it has seemed clear that the coach would lose his job in the summer with Eduardo Berizzo expected to replace him. With only two games left on the calendar it looks as though the decision is just around the corner and fans are eagerly awaiting news that there will be a change. They may not have to wait too much longer with answers likely coming during a press conference that will take place on Thursday.
On Wednesday afternoon Athletic Club announced that President Josu Urrutia and manager Kuko Ziganda will be holding a joint press conference on Thursday at 12:45 in the Lezama press room. There was no other information given regarding the nature of the press conference, but sources have told Inside Athletic that it will serve to announce that Ziganda will not continue as the manager when the current season ends. His exit will be referred to as a mutual decision.
Urrutia and Ziganda have always had a very good relationship and it was actually the President who pushed so hard for his friend to replace Ernesto Valverde last summer. Keeping that in mind, it isn’t surprising that Ziganda’s exit will be called a mutual decision rather than him being fired. The 51-year-old has spent the last six years at Athletic, the previous five as the manager of Bilbao Athletic where he was highly successful. His dream was to coach Athletic Club but sometimes things just don’t work out.
With Ziganda set to leave Athletic this summer all signs point to Eduardo Berizzo being his successor. The Argentine has already been in contract negotiations with the Basque giants for a few weeks now and reports claim that the only reason he hasn’t signed an agreement yet is out of respect for Ziganda who is still the manager. With the season nearly over, Berizzo and Athletic resumed negotiations this week and may have finally reached an agreement. Fans are already looking forward to the future, but Thursday’s press conference will certainly be a big deal.