Report: Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde favourite for Barcelona job

Ernesto Valverde head coach of Athletic Bilbao during the first leg of UEFA Champions League qualifying play-offs round match between SSC Napoli and Athletic Club on August 19, 2014
© Getty Images
Athletic Bilbao head coach Ernesto Valverde is back in pole position for the Barcelona job, according to reports.

Athletic Bilbao head coach Ernesto Valverde has moved back into pole position for the Barcelona job, according to reports.

The Blaugrana will lose incumbent manager Luis Enrique at the end of the season, and the Athletic boss is tipped by many to be favourite for the Camp Nou reins.

It had also been suggested that current Barca assistant manager Juan Carlos Unzue was in the running for a promotion, but Marca believes that the 3-0 defeat to Juventus in midweek has convinced the club's board to discard him as an option.

The Spanish outlet's report goes on to say that the Barca board was unconvinced by a series of lacklustre team performances this season, citing their 2-0 defeat at Malaga as another example, and hold Unzue partly responsible.

Valverde's Bilbao contract will also expire at the end of the season.

Athletic's head coach Ernesto Valverde gestures during the UEFA Europa League Group L football match between Partizan and Athletic Bilbao at the FK Partizan Stadium on October 22, 2015
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2Barcelona382864116377990
3Atletico MadridAtletico38239670274378
4Sevilla38219869492072
5Villarreal381910956332367
6Real Sociedad38197125953664
7Athletic Bilbao381961353431063
8Espanyol381511124950-156
9AlavesAlaves381413114143-255
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14Las PalmasLas Palmas38109195374-2139
15Real Betis38109194164-2339
16Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo38812184361-1836
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