Ernesto Valverde plays down exit talk

Valverde plays down exit talk
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Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde plays down talk of a move to Barcelona.

Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde has played down talks of a move to Barcelona.

It is understood that the Catalan outfit will be on the lookout for a new manager this summer, with current head coach Gerardo Martino expected to leave.

Valverde has been widely linked with the position at the Camp Nou, but he has insisted that "all the talk" is pure speculation at this stage.

"I won't speak publically about the terms of my contract but I don't know how else to say I have a contract with Athletic," Valverde told Marca.

"All the talk about this is from the press. From the point of view of the coach, I can't get to speak. I have a contract with Athletic which is quite clear, and there is a coach in Barcelona who also has a contract.

"The other day he was my rival but he is also my co-worker and I guess he won't like that every day you are talking about replacements. Coaches should be above the speculations generated in the press."

Bilbao host Sevilla in La Liga this evening.

Athletic Bilbao's forward Aritz Aduriz celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Levante UD vs Athletic Club Bilbao at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium in Valencia on April 7, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona98102632325
2Valencia963025101521
3Real Madrid96211871120
4Atletico MadridAtletico9540145919
5Leganes952283517
6Villarreal95131510516
7Real Betis95131917216
8Sevilla951398116
9Real Sociedad84131917213
10Celta Vigo93241814411
11Athletic Bilbao93241010011
12Levante9252911-211
13Getafe9234111019
14Espanyol8233711-49
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo8224916-78
16EibarEibar9216320-177
17GironaGirona8134713-66
18Las PalmasLas Palmas9207722-156
19AlavesAlaves9108314-113
20Malaga9018420-161