Former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde set for a coaching return with Athletic Bilbao 

Quique Setien was 'fourth choice' manager to take charge at Barcelona
Quique Setien was 'fourth choice' manager to take charge at Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde is set to become Athletic Bilbao’s next coach after Jon Uriarte won the club’s presidential election on Friday, with 46% of the 22,000 votes cast by members. He has a four-year term. 

Valverde has managed Athletic Bilbao on two previous occasions, from 2003 to 2005 and 2013 to 2017. No coach has overseen more games for the club than his tally of 306. He also managed Valencia, Olympiakos, Villarreal and Espanyol in the past.

According to ESPN, Inaki Arechabaleta, Another candidate for Bilbao’s presidency, is determined to bring back Marcelo Bielsa for a second stint as coach.

The 58-year-old had a break from coaching since he was fired from Barcelona in January 2020. The Barca dismissed Valverde despite having won back-to-back Spanish league titles with his team. But earlier this week, Athletic presidential candidate Uriarte stated that Valverde would become the club’s new coach should he win the election.

Candidates must have been club members for at least one year to run for the presidency. Clubs owned by the club members are entitled to elect presidents and board members to run the club. Those clubs are Bilbao, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Osasuna.