Sampaoli to stay, Valverde to Barca?

Jorge Sampaoli is set to renew his contract with Sevilla, paving the way for Athletic Bilbao Coach Ernesto Valverde to join Barcelona this summer, say reports.

Catalunya Radio reports the Argentine manager has decided to remain at the Andalucians, while Valverde has since emerged as the number one target at the Camp Nou and is willing to replace Luis Enrique when his contract with Athletic expires this summer.

Sampaoli signed a two-year deal with the Europa League winners last summer to take him through until June 2018 but his style of play and relationship with Barcelona’s players – notably compatriots Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano – had made him favourite with bookmakers to move to the Blaugrana this summer.

However, Sevilla president Jose Castro was positive about the former Chile Coach signing a new one-year extension to his contract earlier this week.

AS report Sampaoli could yet be tempted by an offer by the Argentine national team while Juventus and Inter Milan are also keen on him, but a move to replace Enrique now seems remote.

Tags Ernesto Valverde Jorge Sampaoli