NEWS
Thursday January 5 2017
Valverde linked with Barca

Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde is the latest name to be linked with replacing Luis Enrique at Barcelona at the end of the season.

The Barca coach’s deal expires in June and so far has not committed his future to the club which has led to media speculation that he could be on the verge of leaving, with numerous La Liga counterparts linked to the role at Camp Nou.

"It's not the first time that a manager has been linked with another team," Valverde – who’s Athletic side face the Blaugrana in Thursday’s Copa Del Rey tie - explained.

"The same happens with me as with other managers.

"It's normal, it's how it is. A few times a season we get removed from our team and put in another. That's the profession we work in."

Enrique was full of praise for Valverde and claimed the links to his job were ‘normal’.

"He's one of the best [coaches] in Spanish football and I really like way he coaches football, his ideas, his personality and the way he transmits all that to his players, he's a very good coach," he said.

"You only have to look at the sides he's managed. It's normal that he gets linked with Barcelona, whether for good or for bad reasons, these rumours are normal."

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