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Valverde returns to coach Athletic

Athletic Bilbao have confirmed the appointment of Ernesto Valverde as their new coach, with the former Valencia boss taking the reins at the Basque side for the second time.

Valverde, 49, returns to Athletic - where he played for six years and later managed for two - after leaving his post at the Mestalla on June 1.

He will be presented at a press conference on Friday as the successor to Marcelo Bielsa, who parted company with the club earlier this month following a two-year spell at the helm.

A short statement on Athletic's official website read: "Athletic Club and Ernesto Valverde have reached an agreement for him to be the coach of the first team.

"He will be officially presented, alongside president Josu Urrutia, on Friday June 21 at 1230 in the Palacio Ibaigane press room.''

In his first spell as Athletic boss, Valverde guided Athletic to a 5th place finish in La Liga in 2003-04 but arrives at his old club following a disappointing spell at Valencia, whom he failed to lead into the Champions League last season.

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