Barcelona appoint Valverde as new coach

Barcelona appoint Valverde as new coach

"The 53 year old former Barça player was previously Athletic Club Bilbao coach and he will take over for the 2017/18 season".

Former Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera is now linked with a possible move to Barca after Ernesto Valverde's appointment.

Since then he has coached Athletic's reserve side, had two spells in charge of the first team at San Mames, as well as stints at Espanyol, Olympiacos, Villarreal and Valencia.

"We know he has the ability, the judgement, the knowledge and the experience".

The club will hold a board meeting at 1pm, and a press conference has been called with president Josep Bartomeu expected to reveal the identity of the club's next coach.

He began his coaching career with Athletic's B team, before being promoted to the seniors in 2003 and guiding them to UEFA Cup qualification two years later.

Barcelona have officially named Ernesto Valverde as Luis Enrique's successor in the dugout.

Valverde's official introduction will be on Thursday.

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Barca believe Herrera can play in any of the midfield roles in a 4-3-3 formation and have Jose Mourinho to thank for moulding Herrera into a more defensively aware player.

He has a great willingness to work and incorporates technology into his training, like Barcelona do.

In his first season back at the club - who can only sign players with links to the Basque region - he led them to fourth place in La Liga and a Champions League spot.

He joined Barcelona in 1988, at the age of 24, and scored eight goals in 22 matches in two injury-hit seasons with the club.

"We expected more this season, we can't say that it was a successful one", Bartomeu said.

Luis Enrique left Barcelona this weekend after helping the club win nine titles out of a possible 13 in the three seasons he was with the Catalan club.

Valverde will be thrown in at the deep end, with a number of decisions to be made on incomings and outgoings, a preseason tour to the United States and the Spanish Super Cup in August.