Ernesto Valverde would be good Barcelona coach - Inaki Williams

Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams believes Ernesto Valverde would be a good replacement for Luis Enrique at Barcelona, but is keeping his fingers crossed The Lions coach remains at San Mames.

The 53-year-old Valverde spent two years at Barca as a player, helping them win the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and Copa del Rey, and is one of the bookmakers' favourites to succeed Enrique when he ends his three-year spell in charge in the summer.

Valverde has impressed since taking charge of Athletic for a second time in 2013, leading to the club to three successive top-seven finishes, a Copa del Rey final and the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

He also helped the Basque outfit lift their first silverware in three decades when he masterminded a 5-1 aggregate defeat of Barca to win the 2015 Spanish Super Cup.

Williams can see why Barcelona might be interested in the former Villarreal, Valencia and Olympiacos boss, but is hoping he stays in Bilbao.

The Spain under-21 international told radio station Cadena Ser: "He would be a good coach [for Barca], but we want him to remain at Athletic.

"Hopefully he'll stay with us. We're very happy with the boss. He's brilliant, a great coach.

"He's done a great job, he's made history at the club, he's the coach with the most games. Every season we've got a European place under him and the truth is we would be thrilled if he continues.

"[But] he has the final word and whatever happens I will be pleased for him."