Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde Agree 1-Year Contract Extension

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2019

BILBAO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 10: Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona agreed to a one-year contract extension with manager Ernesto Valverde on Friday. 

The Blaugrana announced the news via Twitter:

The Spaniard was out of contract this summer, but he is set to take charge of the team next season and have the option of staying on for the year after that too.

Valverde took over from Luis Enrique in 2017, and in his first season in charge, he guided Barca to the title in La Liga by 14 points and to their fourth consecutive Copa del Rey.

In the former, Barcelona almost managed an unbeaten campaign before a 5-4 defeat to Levante in the penultimate match of the season.

The UEFA Champions League was a source of disappointment, though, as Barca exited at the quarter-final stage for the third year running.

This season, Barca are six points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga and have a second leg against Los Blancos in the Copa del Rey semi-final to come. In the Champions League, they are set to face Lyon in the round of 16.

Despite Barca's 233 goals during Valverde's 96 matches in charge, he has failed to win over some sections of supporters because of the team's style of play, including Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez:

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Sports writer Andy West feels Valverde is deserving of the extension, however:

Barcelona may not be playing the scintillating football their supporters became accustomed to under Pep Guardiola, but the Manchester City manager had the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta in their prime.

Valverde took over a team still transitioning away from the pair—though the former had left in 2015—and he also had to deal with the loss of Neymar shortly after his arrival at the Camp Nou.

With his future at the club secured, the 55-year-old will look to continue delivering silverware and developing exciting young talents like Ousmane Dembele and Arthur Melo, as well as integrating Frenkie de Jong when he arrives in the summer.