FC Barcelona

Xavi calls on Al Sadd to reach agreement over 'spectacular' Barcelona return

Krishan Davis
Xavi took charge of what could be his last Al Sadd match on Wednesday
Xavi took charge of what could be his last Al Sadd match on Wednesday / KARIM JAAFAR/GettyImages
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Xavi has revealed he is relishing a return to Barcelona as head coach, confirming he has an agreement on personal terms with the club where he made his name and became a legend.

The former midfielder is currently in charge at Qatari side Al Sadd - where he still has two years left to run on his contract - but he has long been Barça's preferred candidate for the managerial hot seat at Camp Nou, now vacant following the sacking of Ronald Koeman last week.

It was revealed on Wednesday that a delegation from Barcelona has travelled to Doha to thrash out a compensation deal with Xavi's current employer, in the hope of making an appointment before the end of the week.

That move followed an angry outburst from Al Sadd's media officer, who called on Barça to come and negotiate if they wanted their man.

The club's CEO has also publicly stated his commitment to keeping the 41-year-old in Qatar, despite Barcelona coming to the table.

However, Xavi himself is desperate to see the deal done and he called for 'common sense' to prevail in negotiations.

Speaking after Al Sadd's 3-3 draw with Al-Duhail on Wednesday night, where he appeared to wave to the fans at full-time, Xavi said: "I've been talking to Barça for days, it's done.

"I'm really looking forward to going home, I hope it happens. It would be spectacular and exciting.

"But now it depends on the conversations between clubs, they need to reach an agreement. Barça is coming to talk, we are all eager and excited. We'll see if it ends up being done.

"It is a matter of common sense. It has to happen [Al Sadd releasing him from his contract]. I feel very emotional about it."

While the club hierarchy are unsurprisingly keeping their cards close to their chest, Al Sadd's captain Abdelkarim Hassan admitted his manager looked likely to leave the Qatari side.

"Everyone is sad because of Xavi's departure, but he will coach a big team like Barcelona," Hassan revealed.

"Xavi presented a new idea to Qatari football and Al-Sadd players and helped us as a great player and coach, and his ideas led us to achieve a lot despite the criticism. We will miss him a lot."

FBL-SADD-XAVI
Xavi speaks to the media after Wednesday night's match / KARIM JAAFAR/GettyImages

Xavi enjoyed an illustrious 17-year career at Camp Nou, winning the Champions League four times and playing a key part in eight La Liga titles.

Should he return to Barcelona he will be charged with recovering from a disastrous start to the 2021/22 campaign. The Blaugrana are currently ninth in La Liga, eight points behind Clasico rivals Real Madrid and nine off top-of-the-table Real Sociedad.

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