Gerard Pique backs Ernesto Valverde for FC Barcelona job

Ernesto Valverde will not be in charge of Athletic Bilbao next season

Ernesto Valverde has taken a huge step towards taking over at Barcelona this summer after Athletic Bilbao confirmed that he would be stepping down from his role as manager at San Mames.

Future Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is set to sign a three-year deal at Barcelona according to Mundo Derpotivo.

Athletic will hold a press conference on Wednesday.

Athletic finished seventh in La Liga this season and will play in next season's Europa League qualifying round if Barcelona beat Alaves in Saturday's Copa del Rey final.

The former Olympiacos, Espanyol, Villarreal and Valencia manager was linked with Barcelona back in 2014 when the Catalans instead appointed Luis Enrique to replace Gerard Martino.

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Athletic gave the news in a communique on the club's website, confirming what many had been expecting for the past few weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Valverde has done a great job at Athletic", said the Spanish worldwide.

"It is not my job and I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it". When I first came here I thought I would only remain for two years.

"I do have an agent, and there are clubs that are interested in me". "He played here for Barcelona as a player and I think he could be a good option, as could others. Now I have to decide whether I will take on a new adventure, and it would have to be a challenging one".

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