28 May 2019, 16:24 IST
What’s the story?
Former Everton boss Roberto Martinez is currently favourites to succeed Valverde, whereas, Blaugrana legend Thierry Henry could become the assistant coach.
In case you didn’t know…
Valverde took charge of the Catalan giants at the start of the 2017/18 season and has guided the club to two consecutive La Liga titles. Valverde also helped Barcelona to win the domestic double in his first season at the Camp Nou, but the club’s failure in the Champions League in both campaigns remains a major reason for his criticism.
Like in the previous season, Barcelona were handed a shock exit from the knockout stages of the Champions League in the present campaign. They failed to hold on to their three-goal lead yet again as Liverpool inflicted a crushing 4-0 defeat in the return leg at Anfield to knock them out from the semi-final stages.
Barcelona endured a similar fate last season when they saw Roma overturn their three-goal advantage in the quarter-final stages. Moreover, the recent loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final added more to Barcelona and Valverde’s misery.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona are set to sack Valverde and hire Martinez to replace him. The former Everton boss is currently managing the Belgium national team, but he remains the favourite to take charge at the Camp Nou. Despite the support of Lionel Messi and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Blaugrana hierarchy has decided to part ways with Valverde.
According to reports, Martinez is set to take charge immediately, with former Barcelona forward Henry becoming his assistant. Martinez has already rejected offers from Sevilla and Real Betis but he is open to the idea of coaching Barcelona. Martinez is currently with Belgium, but he will be relieved of his duties with the national team when he takes charge of Barcelona.
Barcelona will travel to play their pre-season friendlies in July and are expected to announce Valverde’s replacement soon.
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