Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde has insisted that rumours linking him with the Real Madrid job were not the reason for his sudden contract extension.
Valverde was speaking ahead of Athletic’s trip to Sporting Gijon in La Liga on Sunday, a game which occurs just days after the Coach renewed his deal with Los Leones until next summer, amidst speculation he was being considered by Madrid and – to a lesser extent – Spain.
“The kind of things which came out didn’t affect me too much, and I didn’t see them as a nuisance,” he explained at a Press conference.
“I didn’t have a bunch of teams to choose from. The offer had been on the table for some time, and [accepting it] was the idea I had from the start.
“At that time, I preferred to wait. Now we’re well into the season and the team are responding to the expectations, so all the conditions for me to renew have been met.
“For that reason, we’ve done it now, not because there’s a rumour in the street or anything like that.
“Somebody putting my name on a list of future [Spain Coaches] doesn’t influence me because I don’t know who did or what information they have. In this case, there’s been nothing.
“[Coaching] a national team is a possibility that I may consider, but not now.
“Although some of our achievements will be difficult to repeat, we’re looking forward and trying.
“I think teams are doing better now then before, although there are more demands day to day, but in our case things are going well.”