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Barcelona lines up Valverde's replacement

Barcelona lines up Ernesto Valverde's replacement for next season

October 4, 2019 By Oscar Rojas
Reports from Argentina and Spain suggest that Lionel Messi has approved the signing of a younger coach to take over for the Spaniard.

Barcelona's coach Ernesto Valverde has frequently been linked with an exit from the Spanish club, especially after their two most recent eliminations in the UEFA Champions League. While he managed to survive both of those attempts to see him leave the Blaugrana side, the club has reportedly identified his replacement if things don't end with Los Culés lifting the continental title.

A report by Marca Claro suggests that Lionel Messi has given his blessing to let Valverde leave if things take a turn for the worst, with the Argentine ace giving way for Marcelo Gallardo's arrival as the team's new boss. If that was not enough reason to believe in Messi's wishes, the fact that "La Pulga" voted for Gallardo as one of the best coaches of the year last season speaks volumes of his desire to work with his compatriot.

The Argentine is one of the highest-rated coaches in South America.

Gallardo was a top-caliber playmaker during days with River Plate, winning six league titles with Los Millonarios. Added to that, he won a Ligue 1 title with Monaco and two more championships with Nacional de Uruguay, before he decided to call it quits.

"El Muñeco" went on to win a number of titles with River Plate as their coach, but the cherry on top of his resume has to be the 2018 Copa Libertadores title, where Los Millonarios defeated Boca Juniors in quite a controversial standoff against their bitter rival.

His credentials have also seem him rise as a top candidate for the Argentine National Team, and even Pep Guardiola has praised his skills and urged him to start a coaching career in Europe.

Contacts between Gallardo and Barcelona have already begun, according to TNT Sports, and while the coach turned Los Blaugranas down, he urged them to come back to him once River Plate conclude their quest for silverware, which includes fighting for a new Copa Libertadores title and a possible appearance in the Copa Argentina final.

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