FC Barcelona

Barcelona hope to appoint Xavi by the end of the week

Krishan Davis
Xavi's long-awaited return to Barcelona is drawing closer
Xavi's long-awaited return to Barcelona is drawing closer / KARIM JAAFAR/GettyImages

Barcelona hope to confirm Xavi as Ronald Koeman's successor at Camp Nou before the end of the week after negotiations were scheduled with his current employer.

A delegation from the Catalan giants has travelled to Qatar in a bid to seal an agreement for the Al Sadd head coach to return to the club where he came through the academy and enjoyed an illustrious 17-year career.

Barcelona's vice president and director of football, Rafa Yuste and Mateu Alemany, flew to Doha following the Blaugrana's narrow Champions League group stage victory over Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday night, according to ESPN.

The pair will engage in negotiations with Xavi's current club - where he still has two years to run on his deal - after watching Al Sadd's clash with Al-Duhail on Wednesday, as they look to strike an agreement on compensation to free the 41-year-old from his contract in Qatar.

It is believed the former Spain international does have a release clause written into his terms at Al Sadd.

90min previously revealed that Xavi was ready to accept the role at Camp Nou, which he has been in waiting for since hanging up his boots and moving into coaching in 2019. Personal terms are therefore thought to be agreed, with compensation now the only stumbling block before an appointment.

90min understands that Barcelona are happy to wait to get their man but are confident a deal will be done, with ESPN reporting the club hope to announce Xavi as Koeman's successor before the end of the week.

Koeman was relieved of his duties last Wednesday after the 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano left Barça languishing in ninth place in La Liga, with Sergi Barjuan placed in temporary charge.

The Dutchman was given the dreaded vote of confidence by president Joan Laporta in September after a terrible start to the new season both domestically and in Europe. At that point, Barça's board made it clear they wanted Xavi to come in and Koeman's exit has now accelerated proceedings.

Although Al Sadd were thought to have a soft stance on allowing their manager to return to his boyhood club, the Qatari side's media officer hit out at Barça last week for an apparent lack of professionalism in their pursuit of Xavi - denying an official offer had been received.

With a Barcelona delegation now in Doha, it seems they have heeded the call to negotiate for Xavi's signature.