Reports in the Spanish media claim all is not well behind the scenes at Barcelona and they may look to replace Ernesto Valverde as coach next summer.
The 54-year-old is in his second season as Camp Nou chief and has an excellent win percentage of 72.31, but even that might not be enough to save his job if the board do not see silverware this term.
Defeat to Roma in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals was a huge blot on his copybook but La Liga and Copa del Rey success seemed to placate the fans and club officials.
Valverde is in the final year of his contract and the club’s usual policy is to extent the coach’s deal to aid continuity, but Marca are reporting on Friday that the current situation as not as straightforward.
The publication suggests that the former Valencia boss is unhappy with how president Josep Bartomeu reacted in public to the Roma loss and there is still a frosty relationship between the duo.
Add in the fact that the coach does not seem to have any say in which players are brought in and it could be that the parties concerned are heading for a showdown.
Valverde is thought to have been unhappy at the departure of Robert Fernandez and Paulinho plus the club’s failure to sign a left back, and it seems there may be bridge building to be done.
The Catalans have made a perfect start to their domestic campaign, however, with four wins to their name and they are 1.08 to make it five in a row against Girona on Sunday, with the opposition priced at 29.00 and the draw 11.00