Valverde extends Athletic contract

Ernesto Valverde will remain Athletic Bilbao’s Coach next season after signing on for another year.

The 51-year-old oversaw a disappointing start to the campaign, in which Los Leones were knocked out of the Champions League group stage and dropped into the La Liga relegation zone.

However, Athletic have since reached the Copa del Rey final, where they will face Barcelona on May 30, and are just one win away from qualifying for next season’s Europa League via a seventh-placed finish.

It remains to be seen whether Valverde will commit beyond 2016 as B-team boss Jose Angel Ziganda is waiting in the wings.

This is Valverde’s second spell in charge of Athletic, having also led the club between 2003 and 2005.

The former Espanyol and Olympiakos boss is also on course to become the Basques’ second longest-serving Coach, surpassing Juan Urkizu’s record of 235 matches at the helm.

Athletic host Villarreal – another of Valverde’s previous clubs – in their final League game of the season on Saturday.

Tags Ernesto Valverde