Top FC Barcelona executives flew to Qatar for talks with Al Sadd’s hierarchy over Xavi’s appointment as the Blaugrana’s next permanent manager.
Xavi is managing Al Sadd with great results and the club’s CEO Turki Al-Ali made his position clear.
“We are committed to keeping our coach Xavi with us. We can’t have him leave at this sensitive time of the season,” Al-Ali told reporters after the meeting with Barcelona’s representatives.
Even though Al Sadd expected Barcelona president Joan Laporta to travel, he didn’t go to Doha himself.
Xavi, who won seven trophies with Al Sadd since taking over in May 2019, is eager to go back to the club where he spent 24 years as a player.
“I don’t know what will happen, the two clubs are in talks and we will see how it pans out. I am positive and I hope there’s a solution,” Xavi commented after Al Sadd’s 3-3 draw with Al Duhail.
Xavi won everything there was to win as a player with Barcelona
Barcelona sacked Ronald Koeman last week after the defeat to newly-promoted Rayo Vallecano in Madrid. Laporta appointed B team coach Sergi Barjuan as interim boss, with Xavi the president’s desired appointment for the permanent role.
A product of the great La Masia academy, Xavi made his debut for Barcelona in 1998. At the senior level, he played no fewer than 767 games in the FC Barcelona shirt, winning La Liga eight times and the Champions League on four occasions. Xavi is a World Cup and Euro winner with the Spanish national team. The former midfielder joined al Sadd in 2015, playing for the Qatari club until his retirement. He then took over as manager in 2019. It’s not the first time Xavi is linked with the Barca seat, as he was targeted on at least two more occasions. In May, he signed an extension to his contract in Doha until 2023.
If finally appointed, 41-year-old Xavi will find a different reality at Camp Nou than the one he is used to. Barcelona sits ninth in La Liga after 11 games, nine points behind league leaders Real Sociedad. The Catalonians also lost 3-0 to both Bayern and Benfica in the Champions League and fear they might miss out on the Champions League Sweet 16 phase.
With Sergi Barjuan at the helm, Barcelona drew at home to Alaves in La Liga, 1-1, and won in Kyiv against Dynamo in the Champions League, 1-0.