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Report: Ernesto Valverde Rejects FC Barcelona Offer

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World-renowned French newspaper, L'Equipe today reports that Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde has turned down an offer to manage FC Barcelona next season

Vladimir Rys

Gerardo Martino might not be gone just yet, but that hasn't stopped the media from reporting on the identity of the next FC Barcelona manager. After an inconsistent season at the helm of the club, Martino is thought to be headed for the exit at the Camp Nou this summer, regardless of the where the La Liga title ends up on May 18th and as you read this very sentence, the FC Barcelona board is suspected to be searching for a new manager.

The main objective is to ensure that the new coach has all the qualities required to restore the Blaugrana to their former glory -- and as such, it has been widely reported that the next coach will be a former player. Just look at the most successful periods in the club's illustrious history -- from Johan Cruyff to Pep Guardiola, we have typically achieved the most success under the guidance of a former player. Someone who understands our principles, someone familiar with the politics at the club -- one of us, not one of them.

And so the shortlist has been created. Pep Guardiola is currently under contract and happy at Bayern Munich so he is thought to be an impossible target. Frank de Boer, Oscar Garcia and Ernesto Valverde have all been tipped for the job, but French newspaper L'Equipe reports that Valverde has turned down an approach from Andoni Zubizarreta and FC Barcelona to remain at Athletic Bilbao.

This revelation will only serve to intensify rumours that Celta Vigo coach and former club captain, Luis Enrique is favourite to replace Gerardo Martino -- what do you think Cules? Should Martino leave this summer, and if so, who would you replace him with?