FC Barcelona

Al Sadd 'committed' to keeping Xavi as Barcelona executives arrive in Qatar

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Xavi is widely expected to take over at Camp Nou
Xavi is widely expected to take over at Camp Nou / KARIM JAAFAR/GettyImages
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Al Sadd remain 'committed' to keeping Xavi at the club, despite a delegation of Barcelona executives travelling to Qatar to finalise a deal to make him their new head coach.

Barça are currently without a manager following the sacking of Ronald Koeman at the end of last month with former player Sergi Barjuan currently in charge on an interim basis.

Barjuan is unbeaten after two games, although his side's performances have been uninspired. They first stumbled to a disappointing draw with Alaves before narrowly beating Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 in the Champions League.

After that game Barjuan admitted that he was not sure whether he would remain in charge for his side's La Liga meeting with Celta Vigo on Saturday - and Xavi is widely expected to be confirmed as Koeman's successor soon.

In recent days though, his current employers, Al Saad, have hit out at Barcelona for their unprofessional approach. Nevertheless, Barça vice president and director of football, Rafa Yuste and Mateu Alemany, flew over to Doha recently to hammer out a deal.

This has now been acknowledged by Al Saad, but the club have surprisingly claimed that they intend to keep hold of their current boss.

"We welcome the visit of the administrative delegation from , ​​and we appreciate and respect this," Turki Al-Ali, Al Sadd's CEO, said in a statement.

He 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."

Despite this, Barcelona remain confident of getting their man and plan to confirm Xavi as their new head coach before the weekend. The club legend takes over an unenviable situation with the Blaugrana in disarray financially and sorely lacking talent on the pitch.

They are already eight points off bitter rivals Real Madrid after 11 games and they also have plenty of work to do in order to progress to the Champions League knockout stages.


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