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Barcelona president admits lengthy search for coach at Setien's unveiling

Barcelona has finally fired Ernesto Valverde after being frequently criticized by fans and experts, and according to Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu, the board was fully aware about the need for

change within the first team, which prompted them to fire Valverde after the Spanish Super Cup loss.

"We decided to part ways with him because we had been made aware for quite a while that the team was not playing at its full potential despite all the good results. We even discussed this with Valverde. We felt that the team could give a bit more on the pitch, and that's why we decided to turn things around for the second half of the season. We tried to keep things close to the chest, but once some negotiations were brought to the attention of the public, we were forced to act," Bartomeu said.

Bartomeu showed remorse for how things went down during the past few days up until today.

"We had been searching for a replacement for quite a while. His sacking is something we would have liked to do differently. It leaves us a bit broken-hearted, since Ernesto was a good guy, but we lacked a few things on the pitch. We would have wanted things to develop in a different way, but then, a name got leaked (Xavi) and everything went sideways," Bartomeu added.

Barcelona's president concluded by stating the length of Quique Setién's deal with the club, which could eventually change due to the upcoming elections within the club.

"Setién's deal ends in 2022, but with the elections coming, we were forced to include a clause in his deal giving the new president a chance to have a say on who will coach the team," Bartomeu concluded.