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BARCELONA

Barça: Valverde contract renewal "not on the table"

Barça: Valverde contract renewal "not on the table"

Manu Fernandez

AP

Camp Nou vice-president Jordi Mestre gave no assurances over the coach's future: "We're happy with him, but in football anything can happen."

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has said that the club is not in a rush to tie Ernesto Valverde down to a new contract at Camp Nou despite the manager’s current deal containing a unilateral termination clause that allows either the club or Valverde himself to sever their ties at the end of the current season.

Valverde’s current deal runs until the end of the 2018-19 season with the option of a one-year extension but Mestre said during a press conference on Wednesday that Barça are “relaxed” about the situation and an offer “is not on the table at the moment.”

It’s a recurring situation that happens every year,” Mestre said. “It was the case with Luis Enrique and with Guardiola. At this moment Valverde’s renewal in not on the table. Despite the fact that we are very happy with him anything can happen in football.”

Valverde: "I'll have to make a decision"

Valverde has been equally reluctant to push the issue, stating recently: “I'm under contract at Barça. That was a two-year contract with the option of a third and at the end of the season, I'll have to make a decision but we'll bring that forward. I'm not saying that I'm the one who has to make the decision. We have a contract which both parties have signed and we are going to respect that. I've got on well with the club from the very start.”

Mestre echoed Valverde’s sentiment on Wednesday but also admitted that the coach’s continuity beyond the end of the current season is not something Barça have complete control over. “I believe he has said that he is happy with us, the players are happy with him and personally I am as well. We’re relaxed about the situation but we know that anything can happen and due to the text of the contract it is not something that depends entirely on us or that is entirely in our hands. We are coming to the key period of the season but at the moment we are very calm.”