Barça conceded two late goals to Atletico to lose 3-2, meaning that this is the first season since 2008 that they won’t be competing to lift the Supercopa trophy.
El Partizado de COPE reported that Barcelona is not thinking of dismissing Valverde as a knee jerk reaction. Reporter Helena Condis Edo added that a meeting on Monday, which has been interpreted as crisis talks, was planned 15 days ago and so has nothing to do with the defeat.
Senior players Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez even publicly backed Valverde in the aftermath, with the latter declaring, “The coach is not to blame,” when facing the media.
Valverde signed a new one-year contract last season to extend his stay at Camp Nou. That deal runs out at the end of this campaign, although it includes the option of an extra year.
Los pesos pesados del vestuario del @FCBarcelona_es salen en defensa de Ernesto Valverde— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) January 9, 2020
➡️ Leo Messi: "Es normal que cuando hay derrotas se digan cosas, pero tenemos que estar unidos"
➡️ Luis Suárez: "El entrenador no tiene ninguna culpa"
However, Barcelona appear increasingly unlikely to trigger it, which will mean parting company with the 55-year-old in June when 2019/20 concludes.
According to El Larguero on Cadena SER, Valverde will continue in charge until the end of the season ‘no matter what’, at which point president Josep Maria Bartomeu intends to replace him with current Netherlands national team coach and Barcelona legend Koeman.
Koeman, who spent six years at Camp Nou as a player and scored the winner in the 1992 European Cup final, has restored his coaching reputation while in charge of the Oranje following a disastrous spell at Everton in the Premier League.
Prior to that, Koeman had worked wonders at Southampton and had been an Eredivisie title winner with both Ajax and PSV Eindhoven earlier in his managerial career.
⚽ Informa @SiqueRodriguez— El Larguero (@ellarguero) January 9, 2020
Valverde seguirá hasta final de temporada pase lo que pase, esa es la idea que hay ahora mismo
Eso sí, en el club la sensación es que será su última temporada
En la cabeza de Bartomeu el sustituto es Ronald Koemanhttps://t.co/oIverINw8q pic.twitter.com/NAUFC5aAoN
Barcelona would have to wait until after Euro 2020 for Koeman to start work.