NEWS
Wednesday May 24 2017
Valverde has 'no agreement' with any club

Outgoing Athletic Bilbao Coach Ernesto Valverde has denied having an agreement with any other club, despite reports he has agreed to join Barcelona.

Speculation has emerged in the past week that the 53-year-old has signed a two-year contract at the Camp Nou but, less than 24 hours after confirming his exit from San Mames, he denied such reports but revealed ‘there is interest’.

“I have no agreement with any club at the moment and haven't spoken with anyone, but there is interest,” an emotional Valverde told his farewell press conference.

“This is not the first time I have had interest from big clubs but my club is Athletic and I will say my goodbyes to them first before committing to any other.

"It's a hard day for me which is why I have asked the president to be with me this afternoon.

“As everybody knows by now, I'm not going to sign a fifth consecutive year at Athletic, initially I thought I would only be two years because of the situation.

"For that reason I believe we are to celebrate the four years I have loved here and not to regret my farewell.

“We waited until the end of the season to announce the news as to minimise any damaging impact surrounding results and also to keep rumours to be a minimum.

“Ten of the 14 players who participated at Vicente Calderon (Valverde’s final game in charge) were there from the beginning – every one of them will always have a special place in my heart.”

Football Italia website