Barca to confirm Valverde as new coach

Athletic Bilbao’s Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde waves journalist at the end of a press conference held to announce that he was quitting the football club in Bilbao on May 24, 2017. Valverde, 53, has been Athletic coach for four seasons, bagging one trophy during his mandate — the Supercup after victory over Barca in 2015. Spanish media reports that Valverde should be soon named as successor to outgoing Barcelona coach Luis Enrique. / AFP PHOTO / ANDER GILLENEA

Barcelona are expected to confirm Ernesto Valverde as their new coach later on Monday after club president Josep Maria Bartomeu called a press conference for 1900 local time (1700 GMT).

Bartomeu said after Saturday’s Copa del Rey final win over Alaves that there would be a board meeting on Monday afternoon where he will “examine the options and announce who will be our next coach”.

Valverde, who left Athletic Bilbao after four years in charge last week, has been lined up for the role since Luis Enrique announced he would leave at the end of the season back in March.

The appointment of the 53-year-old will follow Barca’s recent fashion of hiring former players.

Valverde won the Cup Winners’ Cup and Copa del Rey in his two seasons at the Camp Nou from 1988 to 1990.

And he has bags of managerial experience in La Liga having taken charge of Athletic in two spells, Espanyol, Villarreal and Valencia, as well as two stints with Greek giants Olympiakos.

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