Barcelona sack coach Ernesto Valverde

Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona have sacked coach Ernesto Valverde with immediate effect despite the club still topping La Liga table in Spain.

Valverde is the first manager to be sacked by Barcelona mid-season since Louis van Gaal was dismissed in January 2003., Sky Sports reports.

A tweet on Barcelona’s twitter handle on Mondaay said “Agreement between FC Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde to end his contract as manager of the first team. Thank you for everything, Ernesto. Best of luck in the future.”

Barcelona are currently ahead of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga on goal difference and through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, but they lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday.

Valverde, previously at Athletic Bilbao and Valencia, replaced Luis Enrique in 2017 and won back-to-back league titles during his time in charge.