SPORTS

The mystery with Valverde

Having been effectively crowned champion in mid-March, Olympiakos has turned its attention to whether manager Ernesto Valverde will stay on at Piraeus for next season, too.

The mystery regarding the Spaniard’s future grew after the 3-1 victory over Kavala at the Karaiskakis Stadium on April 3, as Valverde left everything open for his future and reports have linked him to Athletic Bilbao.

The issue has arisen due to the reluctance of both sides — the Spaniard and Olympiakos — to speak about whether they will continue together, and it is not clear whether Valverde?s contract is for two years (up to 2012) or for one-plus-one, meaning that the two parties may have to negotiate its renewal this spring.

Although the 47-year-old has clearly not reached any agreement with a Spanish side, sources agree he would like to return home, citing reasons including certain things that have disturbed him in Greece, according to reports.

Olympiakos would like to hold on to the coach who has led it to two league titles, in 2009 and 2011, but has already started checking out its other options, such as former Aris coach Hector Raul Cuper and Unai Emery, who currently manages Valencia.

The latest reports on April 6 suggested that a meeting between Valverde and Olympiakos president Vangelis Marinakis is to take place very soon, which may bode well for an agreement.