The Barcelona hierarchy have dismissed the idea of Ernesto Valverde getting the sack and believe he is the man to take the club forward.

Despite Barca sitting at the top of La Liga, sub-par showings in recent weeks - which includes a 3-1 defeat at Levante and a 0-0 home draw to Slavia Praha in the Champions League - has seen the pressure mount on Valverde, who has guided the Catalans to back-to-back Spanish titles since his arrival.

However, in an interview with AP, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has backed the former Athletic Bilbao boss, reiterating his belief that he is currently the right man for the job.

Josep Maria Bartomeu

“This season we have brought in young players who have to help us get through those stages,” he said, as quoted by the Evening Standard

“We think that Valverde is the ideal coach to lead this blending of a generation of players of a certain age who have been so successful with that of up-and-coming players.

“It is important to create this bond, this union, to make a new team and this new group that will carry Barca forward. And Valverde has this ability.”

Lionel Messi

Another Lionel Messi masterclass guided Barca to a comfortable 4-1 win over Celta Vigo on the weekend, possibly lifting some of the pressure of Valverde's shoulders.

Speaking after the Celta game, Guillermo Amor, Barca's director of institutional relations, was asked about Valverde's position and said: "It has not crossed anybody's mind. Ernesto is a great coach and we are first in the two competitions. He is a fantastic guy, a great professional and we are thrilled with him."

Barcelona's form in the Champions League may have a lot to do with Valverde's managerial status. After crumbling out of the competition in the last two seasons - surrendering three-goal first-leg advantages on both occasions - the Barca board and faithful will be looking for another deep run in the competition, with hope of reaching the final for the first time since 2015.

Divock Origi

Nevertheless, the 55-year-old signed a contract in February which could keep him at the club until the end of next season. It seems that if he maintains Barca's spot at the summit of La Liga, then his job is safe for the time being.