Alex Mott

Lionel Messi urging Barcelona to keep hold of Ernesto Valverde

The Argentine forward is keen for the club to tie down their title-winning coach

Lionel Messi is reportedly urging the Barcelona board to keep hold of coach Ernesto Valverde despite the club hesitating over a new deal.

Valverde has been at Camp Nou for two and a half seasons now where he’s won a LaLiga title and a Copa del Rey.

Some fans however have never really warmed to the 54-year-old, with many seeing his style as pragmatic and opposed to their attacking philosophy.

The former midfielder sees his current contract expire at the end of the season and has so far not been approached by the board over a new deal.

According to a story in AS though, Messi has urged them to tie the tactician for at least one more season as they look to win their first Champions League trophy in four years.

Real Betis boss Quique Setien and Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi have both been mentioned as potential replacements,