Valverde future uncertain – president

Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia admits he cannot guarantee Coach Ernesto Valverde will remain at the club next season amid links to Barcelona.

Valverde is out-of-contract at the San Mames this summer and is reportedly the favourite to replace the outgoing Luis Enrique in the Barca hotseat this summer.

"I cannot anticipate what will happen, Valverde is in his fourth year with us,” Urrutia told the Athletic Club website.

"At around this time last season, he signed a contract extension. We will have to have a chat with him to see how he feels and whether he is the best coach for us next season or not.

"That conversation needs to take place as it has occurred in previous years and we will see what happens.

"Right now Ernesto is focused on ensuring that the team performs to this [high] level and so are we.

"Once we have clear if Ernesto is the right person for next season, that he also sees himself with energy to continue, we will make that public."

Bilbao-based El Correo reports Jose Angel "Cuco" Ziganda – coach of reserve side Bilbao Athletic for the past six years – would be favourite to replace Valverde should he depart.

Tags Ernesto Valverde Josu Urrutia