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No doubt Valverde and Alba will stay at Barcelona, says Bartomeu

10:58 PM GMT+8 16/01/2019
ernestovalverde - Cropped
The coach's future at Camp Nou remains shrouded in doubt, but president Josep Maria Bartomeu is sure he will stay for at least another year

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is convinced head coach Ernesto Valverde will still be in charge at Camp Nou next season.

Valverde's future with the Catalan side was thrown into doubt last month when he told Barca's in-house TV channel he did not know for sure if he would be at the club in the 2019-2020 campaign.

Both Barcelona and Valverde have an option in his contract to terminate his deal at the end of the season.

Despite leading Barca to a La Liga and Copa del Rey double in his debut campaign in the dugout, Valverde's perceived pragmatic style has drawn its detractors.

But Bartomeu is delighted with the job the former Athletic Bilbao coach is doing and does not foresee him departing.

Speaking to Sport, Bartomeu said: "We don't have any doubts here that Valverde will be the Barcelona coach next season. 

"We will speak with him, of course, in time. That's what we agreed. He's a coach we have a lot of confidence in. 

"He's doing a great job. He's an intelligent person, he knows Barcelona's system of play and he manages the games in a way which we like."

Bartomeu also spoke about the future of Spain full-back Jordi Alba, who in November said it was "strange" that talks over a new deal had not begun despite his contract running out in 2020.

The Barca president, though, says 29-year-old Alba is part of the club's long-term plans. 

"Of course he will continue," he added. "We are already working with him for a long renewal, for the next five years."