Barcelona negotiates with Al-Sadd for coach Xavi Hernandez

AP , Thursday 4 Nov 2021

Barcelona is in negotiations with Qatari club Al-Sadd to seek Xavi Hernandez's release so that the former star can return to Camp Nou as its new coach.

Qatari football club al-Sadd SC s Spanish coach Xavi Hernandez reacts during Qatar Stars League matc
Qatari football club al-Sadd SC s Spanish coach Xavi Hernandez reacts during Qatar Stars League match between al-Sadd SC and al-Duhail SC, at Thani Bin Jassim Stadium (Al-Gharafah Stadium) in Qatar s capital Doha on November 3, 2021. AFP

``The two clubs are in conversations and we don't know how it will end,`` Xavi told a crew of Catalan public television station TV3 that had deployed to Qatar on Wednesday. ``It is very exciting, I don't know what will happen.''

The former Spain midfielder acknowledged that coaching Barcelona would be ``an exciting step`` in his career.

``We are all very eager,`` he said. ``It would be spectacular.''

Al-Sadd appears not as eager to let him go.

In a statement, Xavi's current employer said it ``welcomed the visit of the administrative delegation'' from Barcelona. But Al-Sadd CEO Turki Al-Ali added: ``The club's position is clear from the beginning - we are committed to keeping our coach Xavi with us and we cannot have him leave at this sensitive time of the season.''

Al-Sadd leads the Qatari league by three points after nine games played.

Barcelona has played two games under caretaker coach Sergi Barjuan, who took over following the firing of Ronald Koeman with the team struggling both in the Spanish league and the Champions League.

Barcelona's next game is Saturday at Celta Vigo.

The 41-year-old Xavi left Barcelona in 2015 after helping it win 25 titles in 17 seasons, including four European Cups. He was also key to Spain winning the 2010 World Cup and European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

Since then, he has been at Al-Sadd, first as a player and then as its coach.

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