Al Sadd say deal agreed with Barcelona for Xavi


Doha (AFP) – Barcelona are set to announce Xavi Hernandez’s dramatic return to the club as coach, after Al Sadd confirmed on Friday a deal has been agreed between the clubs.

The Qatari club said in a statement Barca had paid the release clause for Xavi, who has been coaching in Qatar since 2019 and now rejoins the club where he enjoyed huge success as a player.

Al Sadd chief executive Turki Al-Ali said in a statement: “The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract. 

“We’ve agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future. Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd’s history and we wish him success.”

Barcelona sent vice-president Rafa Yuste and director of football Mateu Alemany to Doha for talks on Wednesday.

But Turki Al-Ali insisted earlier on Wednesday that Al Sadd were “committed to keeping Xavi” and they appear to have held their ground in the negotiations, with Barca needing to pay Xavi’s release clause, reportedly set at five million euros ($5.8 million).

“Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way,” Turki Al-Ali added in his statement on Friday.

Barcelona had to let Lionel Messi leave the club before the season began and have admitted they are saddled with huge debts.

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