Lionel Messi ‘intervenes’ as Barcelona board make final decision on Ernesto Valverde

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Ernesto Valverde is set to be given a stay of execution as Barcelona manager.

Reports earlier this week suggested Valverde would be axed following Barcelona’s Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia.

Barca lifted the La Liga trophy but the board are believed to have their doubts over Valverde and they increased following the Champions League capitulation against Liverpool .

Roberto Martinez had been tipped to replace Valverde at the Nou Camp this summer.

But MARCA reports after days of deliberation, the Barcelona board have decided to keep faith with Valverde for the start of next season.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde looks set to stay on

It is reported several key figures in the Barca dressing room expressed their wish for Valverde to stay on, led by skipper Lionel Messi.

The Argentine has remained supportive of his manager, despite his public dismay at the Champions League semi-final exit.

Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic were all believed to have backed the decision for Valverde to keep his job.

The decision comes after Martinez and Barcelona legend Ronald Koeman, both former Everton managers, refused to rule out taking over at the Nou Camp.

Roberto Martinez was tipped to be the top choice to take over at Barcelona

Martinez, who is currently in charge of the Belgian national side, told HLN: “‘I do not say “yes” to anyone without first talking to Bart [Verhaeghe] and Mehdi [Bayat] and the Belgian football federation) first.’

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When quizzed about the Barca job, Holland boss Koeman said: “I think this is about the Dutch national team, so I would like to leave it at that.”

The former Everton manager was then asked to confirm whether he would remain as boss of Holland, to which he replied: “That would be very easy, but I will not.”

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