Ernesto Valverde has praised Lionel Messi after the Argentine scored a hat-trick against Celta Vigo on Saturday night.

Barcelona could terminate Ernesto Valverde’s contract at the end of the season, according to the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Valverde took over Barcelona in 2017 and he has a contract until 2021 but it seems all is not well with Spanish manager.

Bartomeu has suggested that Valverde’s tenure could be cut short at the end of the season during his interview on Catalan radio programme El Suplement,

After it was put to him by the radio interviewer that Valverde has looked unhappy and “serious” this season, Bartomeu replied: “I have had a lot trainers and they have all been serious – Rijkaard, Martino, Guardiola, Lucho [Luis Enrique], all of them were serious. The responsibility is huge. It demands a lot.

He added: “Here the only option is to win everything. Either you win everything or it’s not a good season. But off-camera, Ernesto is fun and endearing. There are people who said that Ernesto, Lucho, Pep, Tito [Vilanova] and Tata [Gerardo Martino] were very serious.

“Will Valverde continue next season? He has a contract until 2021, but in spring there is an option through which it could be decided that he doesn’t continue.

“We have it with all the trainers. But his contract… either he or we will decide. What follows depends on many variables. Rijkaard was here five years, Guardiola four, Luis Enrique three.”

Asked if he was saying that three years could be enough for Valverde, the Barcelona president responded: “It could be. But it is a decision that he or the club must make as things go on.”

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