What was revealed a couple of weeks ago has been confirmed as Jonatan Giráldez confirmed he is set to leave Barcelona at the end of the season.
Giráldez held a press conference on Monday where he explained why he decided to leave and the timing of the announcement.
"I informed the club that I don't intend to renew my contract," Giráldez said. I want to leave them enough time to sort things out and find the best possible future. Last Friday I told the players and the staff about the situation. I wanted them to know the reason for my decision."
Spanish outlet Relevo broke the news on Giráldez and seemed to have played a factor in the manager confirming it.
"On a personal level, I wanted to avoid the focus being on [my future] when we get to March, April-time when we are usually competing for titles," Giráldez said.
Alongside Patri Guijarro, Alexia Putellas, Mapi Leon and Mariona Caldentey, Giráldez was high on Barcelona's priority list to reach an agreement on a renewal. Barcelona president Joan Laporta said they were close but Giráldez received an offer that was too good to pass up.
"Since Marc Vivés came in, we had been negotiating, Giráldez said. "There were things left to negotiate, relating to my staff, and during that impasse I received another offer which I decided to accept."
While Giráldez didn't say who that offer was from, he did say it was outside of Europe as he did not want to compete with Barcelona.
Relevo's Sandra Riqulme reports that the offer is from the NWSL's Washington Spirit in the United States where his salary will be five times what he was earning at Barcelona.
In addition to owning the Spirit, Michele Kang also owns Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
Giráldez departure is a significant blow to Barcelona who already lost sporting director Markel Zubizarreta earlier this year. Both are/were pillars of the club and the ones responsible for elevating Barcelona and turning them into the best team in the world.
Replacing Giráldez is going to be a difficult task for Vivés who already has the renewals of the players mentioned earlier on his plate.
Given Giráldez's success since taking over from Lluis Cortes, he certainly earned the right to decide his future. Despite winning everything, the offer from the Washington Spirit was too good to pass up. It also gives him the opportunity to challenge himself in a new league.
With his impending departure, the players will want to send him out in style by winning everything possible. Giráldez certainly has his mind set on leaving on a high note.
"I am hoping that my fondest memory of my time here has yet to come later this season," Giráldez said. "I hope these last few months are the best of all. We want to win every title."