Xavi to Barcelona: Al Sadd issue defiant statement about manager’s future
Xavi Hernandez has been heavily linked with becoming Barcelona manager but his current employers, Al Sadd, claim that the Camp Nou legend is “fully focussed” on Qatari club
The Qatari club say that they are yet to receive an official offer from the European giants following Ronald Koeman ‘s sacking on Wednesday – despite the widespread expectation Xavi will return to Catalunya as his replacement.
Xavi is a legend at Camp Nou, having made 767 appearances for the Blaugrana and lifted eight La Ligas, four Champions Leagues, three Copas del Rey and 10 more trophies across an illustrious 17-year spell as a player.
However, Al Sadd claim Xavi is “fully focussed” on his current job and on Friday evening, issued a firm statement amid the ongoing speculation.
“In response to what’s circulating recently, the Al Said management reaffirms that Xavi has a two-year contract with the club and is fully focused on the team’s upcoming matches, to maintain our lead at the top of the league and to defend the title.”
Media officer Ahmed Al Ansari later confirmed that no official offer has been made.
“Any club that has a bit of professionalism is supposed to negotiate with the other side if it wants a player or coach who is under contract,” Al Ansari wrote.
Laporta is keen on bringing the 41-year-old back to Barca, but his employers will seemingly not lose their man without a fight.
Xavi, who has been in his current post since 2019 after four years playing for the Qatari club, was mooted to become Barcelona’s next boss in 2020 before Koeman was appointed.
Koeman was sacked late on Wednesday as the club continue to endure freefall on and off the pitch. The Dutchman only remained in charge over the summer after Laporta was snubbed by Xavi and a number of other managers.
Xavi himself was coy when asked about the links as Sergi Barjuan, the coach of Barcelona B, has been placed in interim charge.
“I am focused on my work with Al-Sadd and I cannot talk about anything else,” he stated in a press conference.
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“He knows the environment which is so important. He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now that I had when I took over.
“If Xavi is the next manager, I wish him all the best and hopefully step by step the team can come back.”
Meanwhile, Al Sadd star and former Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla gave further backing as he told El Larguero : “Of course, Xavi is prepared to coach Barca. Some people know the club well and know what he wants.
“He has a clear idea of football. He wants the ball and to be the protagonists. He is going to do it in any team in the world that he trains.”