What's the story?
According to Mirror and RAC's Gerard Romero, Barcelona are set to sack their manager Ernesto Valverde after a disappointing 2-1 loss to Valencia in the Copa Del Rey (Spanish Cup) last Saturday. The cup loss alongwith two Champions League knockout eliminations in his two seasons in charge has seemingly convinced the Blaugrana management to let him go, despite two successive La Liga title wins.
In case you didn't know...
Having arrived from Athletic Bilbao in the 2017-18 season, Valverde initially impressed many with his pragmatic approach that saw him win the domestic double in his first season in charge at the Camp Nou.
In the Champions League however, the Blaugrana were upset by a spirited AS Roma team who mounted a sensational comeback to win the home leg 3-0 after going down 4-1 in the first leg at Camp Nou.
The heart of the matter
Valverde's second season seemed headed for an inevitable treble as Barcelona steamrolled all opposition to reach the Champions League semi-finals and win the La Liga with four matchdays to spare.
But another shock elimination in the Champions League, to Liverpool, yet again letting a handsome first leg lead slip away, had many pundits and fans calling for Valverde's axing.
The club President, Josep Bartomeu stuck by his man but that support may be waning now after a second successive Cup failure, this time in the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona head to Japan for a pre-season friendly in July. They are set to face English giants Chelsea on July 27th in Saitama. The Blaugrana are expected to announce a replacement for Valverde soon with Netherlands' manager Ronald Koeman and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez the rumoured favorties to land the coveted role.Published 28 May 2019, 15:03 IST