Coach Valverde leaves Athletic, will reportedly join Barca

Coach Valverde leaves Athletic, will reportedly join Barca

Spanish newspaper Sport have front page news that incoming Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has made the former Athletic Club Bilbao star one of his top priorities this summer.

Ernesto Valverde has said he "cannot confirm" reports that he will become the next coach of Barcelona.

Valverde stepped down as Athletic Bilbao boss this week and had his farewell press conference with the Basque club on Wednesday.

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Valverde is believed to be the front-runner to replace Luis Enrique at the Nou Camp, with the Catalan giants set to reveal who their new coach is next Monday.

The 53-year-old believes a move would be possible with Herrera yet to sign a new deal with United. The announcement is expected next week.

However, when asked about the reported interest from the Catalans, he told a news conference on Wednesday: "I can not confirm it, I'm sorry".

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Valverde admitted that he turned down proposals from some big clubs in the past, but this time the outcome could be different.

"I don't know what is being published, but I am responsible for my own honesty", he concluded. "For me it hasn't been a surprise (that he did a good job)".

When pressed further about the supposed interest from Barcelona, he added: "I'm not going to talk about specific teams now".

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He then led Olympiacos to three league titles and two cups, and helped Bilbao win the 2015 Supercopa de Espana against Barca.

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