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Barcelona president Bartomeu admits Valverde could go at season end

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu admits this could be the last season in charge for coach Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde took over from current Spain coach Luis Enrique at Camp Nou in May, 2017 and his current contract runs until 2021.

However, speaking to Catalan radio programme El Suplement, Bartomeu has suggested that Valverde's tenure could be cut short at the end of the season.

After it was put to him by the radio interviewer that Valverde has looked unhappy and “serious" this season, Bartomeu replied: “I have had a lot trainers and they have all been serious – Rijkaard, Martino, Guardiola, Lucho [Luis Enrique], all of them were serious. The responsibility is huge. It demands a lot.

He added: “Here the only option is to win everything. Either you win everything or it's not a good season. But off camera, Ernesto is fun and endearing. There are people who said that Ernesto, Lucho, Pep, Tito [Vilanova] and Tata [Gerardo Martino] were very serious.

“Will Valverde continue next season? He has a contract until 2021, but in spring there is an option through which it could be decided that he doesn't continue.

“We have it with all the trainers. But his contract… either he or we will decide. What follows depends on many variables. Rijkaard was here five years, Guardiola four, Luis Enrique three."

Asked if he was saying that three years could be enough for Valverde, the Barcelona president responded: “It could be. But it is a decision that he or the club must make as things go on."

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Paul Vegas

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