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Sources: Barca put off by €100m Lautaro price tag

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Barcelona manager Valverde will be at Camp Nou next season - president

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said Ernesto Valverde will remain at Camp Nou next season, amid reports of uncertainty of the manager's future.

Valverde, 54, signed an initial two-year deal when he replaced Luis Enrique as Barca boss in 2017. An option was included for that deal to be extended by an additional year but Valverde has been reluctant to commit to the club beyond the end of the campaign.

However, Bartomeu said Valverde has the club's complete backing and will remain at the helm beyond the summer.

"We don't have any doubts here that Valverde will be the Barcelona coach next season," he said in an interview with newspaper Diario Sport. "We will speak with him, of course, in time. That is what we agreed.

"He's a coach we have a lot of confidence in. He is doing a great job. He is an intelligent person. He knows Barcelona's style of play and he manages the games in a way which we like."

The former Athletic Bilbao boss had said talks with the club about prolonging his contract into a third year would not take place until later in the season. He even told Barca TV over Christmas that he did not know what he would be doing next year.

Valverde won the league and cup double during his first season in charge of Barca but was heavily criticised after overseeing a Champions League quarterfinal exit. The Blaugrana blew a 4-1 first leg lead as they were knocked out by Roma.

Barca remain on track for a treble this season. They are five points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga and face Lyon in the Champions League round of 16 after topping a group which included Tottenham, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven.

They host Levante in the Copa del Rey round of 16 on Thursday at Camp Nou having lost the first leg of the tie 2-1 in Valencia last week.

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