Ernesto Valverde has admitted his future at Barcelona will be decided at the end of the season ahead of his side’s match against Getafe on Sunday.
The Catalan giants will be be looking to pick up where they left off following their winter break, having won their last four La Liga games.
They resume their campaign with a trip to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, but the future of Valverde has hogged the headlines in the build-up to a potentially tricky game against their seventh-placed hosts.
Speaking to the club’s in-house TV channel, Valverde said: “In football you never know what will happen. The contract has an optional year and at the end of the season we will decide. We have not even reached the middle of the season.”
Since taking over at the Nou Camp in 2017, Valverde has won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de Espana. He is on course for a second successive league title, with Barcelona three points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, while arch-rivals Real Madrid are a further four points behind, in fourth.
Valverde’s current contract runs until 2020, but it is thought that the club’s hierarchy are keen for him to commit to the club by next month. There is already widespread talk over who might succeed the Spaniard should he leave, with former Barca playmaker Xavi among the frontrunners.
For now, Valverde is keen to keep focus on the game in hand. The former Athletic Bilbao boss has already named his 19-man squad to travel to Getafe, with Malcom and Sergi Roberto passing late fitness tests. Rafinha, Sergi Samper, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen are still injured, whilst Munir has been left out.
For the home side, head coach Jose Bordalas will be hoping to upset the odds as his side look to improve on last year’s eighth-place finish. Getafe went into the winter break in great form themselves, and are without defeat since November 10.
Bordalas was quick to acknowledge the threats that Barca possess, however, including La Liga top scorer Lionel Messi.
He said: “They’re at their best during the season, with four consecutive victories, zero goals allowed. I’m worried about the collective and then Messi, who is their best player.”
Barcelona have not been beaten by Getafe since 2011, but amid the speculation over their head coach’s future, an away win may not be a foregone conclusion. Certainly, Valverde has identified the threats they pose.
He said: “Getafe are a tough side who create intense pressure and are convincing. They’re battling for a spot in Europe and will be a difficult opponent.”
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