Ernesto Valverde’s future at Athletic Club is very much a mystery. Txingurri is finishing up his fourth season at the club as has made history, competition in Europe consistently and winning the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona last season. Over the last few months he has quickly become one of the top candidates to replace Luis Enrique at Barcelona and right now no one seems to know what will happen. Still, there is a rumor that the board are thinking that he will make his exit.
According to a report from Igor Barcia of El Correo, a source close to the Athletic board says that the board is convinced that Valverde will be leaving at the end of the season. It should also be noted that this un-named source also says that it could have nothing to do with Barcelona at all, and rather just a decision to move on.
Valverde has never been a manager to stay in one place very long. He holds the belief that settling in for very long can create apathy and be less effective on the players. In fact, since taking over in 2013, his current tenure at Athletic is the longest he has ever spent at one club. Perhaps this un-named source believes that Valverde will leave the club whether he gets an offer from Barcelona or not.
It is common knowledge that Athletic have already been discussing the potential replacement for Ernesto Valverde with Bilbao Athletic manager Cuco Ziganda waiting in the wing. The vast majority of the board, including President Josu Urrutia, are in favor of Ziganda taking over. He has been groomed for the job for several years now and it is believed that he has already told the club that he will accept the offer is given. However, sporting director Jose Maria Amorrortu does not have a good relationship with Ziganda and prefers to hire someone like Quique Setien of Las Palmas.
Only time will tell what will happen at Athletic Club. The first choice is for Ernesto Valverde to stay and continue his historic run. But if Txingurri does move on, Ziganda is the heavy favorite to take over as the first team manager. At this point it is Valverde’s decision to make and Athletic and fans are left waiting to see what the future holds for the Basque giants. For now, there is nothing official regarding the future of Ernesto Valverde.