I don't regret sacking Valverde - Barca chief

LaLiga

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has explained why he has no regrets over sacking Ernesto Valverde while the club was at the summit of LaLiga.

Valverde was on course to retain the Spanish top-flight title and led Barcelona to the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League as group winners but lost his job in January this year.

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The team's style of play and exits from Europe's elite club competition against AS Roma and Liverpool in the previous campaigns were said to be the biggest factors behind his departure.

While club legends Ronald Koeman and Xavi both rejected to succeed Valverde, the Blaugrana opted for former Real Betis boss Setien, who has yet to win a trophy throughout his career but his philosophy of football aligned to the culture of the historic club.

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Seven months down the line, Barcelona are four points behind Real with four games left in the 2019/20 season and speculation has risen that Xavi may replace Setien at the end of the campaign.

But Bartomeu has strongly denied the claims, just days after rubbishing reports that captain Lionel Messi wants to leave the club upon the expiry of his contract.

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"Setien will obviously continue. At this moment I'm pretty happy with how the team has evolved and in the last couple of games we have seen the improvements Setien has made," he told radio station RAC1.

"I don't regret the decision to sack Valverde, we needed to give the team a boost and Setien has brought new ideas and new sensations with him."

Barcelona's 4-1 victory over Villarreal on Saturday evening is said to have saved Setien from the sack with the club's board willing to allow him to see out the season before assessing his long-term future.

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