Ernesto Valverde will not continue as coach at Athletic Club next season, the Bilbao-based outfit confirmed in a statement issued on Tuesday evening. It's an announcement that has been expected for the past few weeks withValverde believed to have signed a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona. José Ángel Ziganda will take over as first team coach at Athletic.
Valverde to face the media in San Mamés tomorrow
Valverde and Athletic president Josu Urrutia will give a press conference at midday on Tuesday in the Jose Iragorri press room at San Mamés. It will be a chance for Valverde to explain the finer details of his decision to move on instead of continuing for a fifth consecutive season with Los Leones. Barça are expected to hand Valverde a two-year contract, and offer similar deals to his assistant Jon Aspiazu and fitness trainer José Antonio Pozanco.
The 53-year-old has enjoyed four spectacular seasons in charge in his second stint with Athletic, consolidating the Bilbaínos' place in European competition and winning the Spanish Supercup. Valverde has also been applauded for rearing promising young players from the reserves such as Arrizabalaga, Yeray and Iñaki Williams who are all now triumphing in the first team.