Barcelona bound Xavi ‘agrees exit with Al-Sadd bosses’ after breakthrough meeting
Xavi ‘agrees his exit with Al-Sadd bosses’ after breakthrough meeting – and the Spaniard is now set to meet with the club president on Friday to seal deal to take charge of Barcelona
- Xavi Hernandez is on the brink of returning to Barcelona as first team manager
- The manager has met with Al-Sadd president Mohammed bin Khalifa al Thani
- A second meeting will take place on Friday to discuss the exact terms of the exit
- Barca ‘will make the announcement after the meeting to terminate his contract’
The Catalans identified their former golden boy as the sole candidate to take over from the recently sacked Ronald Koeman, and have spent the last week trying to prise him from his current role with Al-Sadd.
Barca have been working around the clock in the past few days to get a deal over the line, and went as far as sending a delegation to Qatar to smooth over the arrangements.
Xavi has reportedly already agreed his exit from Al-Sadd to take charge at Barcelona
But the Qatari club have put up strong opposition to the Spaniard leaving his managerial role in Doha.
However, a deal is inching close as Xavi has reportedly held two meetings to negotiate his departure from Al-sadd, according to SPORT.
Xavi first met with Barcelona’s vice president Rafa Yuste and director of football Mateu Alemany
Vice-president Rafa Yuste (left) and football director Mateu Alemany (right) headed to Qatar
The manager then headed to meet Mohammed bin Khalifa al Thani at his palace to discuss him leaving the club.
In the meeting with the Sheikh, an agreement over the exact terms of Xavi’s departure couldn’t be reached but the pair are set to meet again for the final time on Friday morning.
Both the Al-Sadd president and Xavi want to discuss the departure amicably and are said to be open to all options.
But, according to the report, whether the decision is made for Mohammed to wave the €5million (£4.3m) release clause or for Barcelona to finally cave and pay the fee, Xavi is destined for the Nou Camp.
The manager will meet with the club president on Friday to discuss the exact terms of his exit
It is reportedly planned that, following the meeting, Yuste and Alemany will meet with their Al-Sadd counterparts to sign the termination of Xavi’s contract in Qatar.
Barcelona will then announce Xavi as the Blaugrana’s new head coach.
The Spaniard, who played over 700 times for Barcelona as a player, is set to be in the dugout for the first time on November 18 against fierce rivals Espanyol.
After the international break, Xavi will be tasked with trying to get Barcelona away from mid-table obscurity, with the LaLiga giants sitting in ninth place – nine points off the summit of the Spanish top-flight after three games without a win.
Al-Sadd have done a complete U-turn from their original reaction to Barcelona’s move to poach the manager.
The club were left angered by Xavi’s failure to see out his contract, which does not expire until 2023.
Barcelona will announce the Spaniard as head coach after the termination of his contract
In a club statement issued on Tuesday, they said: ‘The position of the club is clear from the beginning: we are committed to keeping our coach Xavi with us and we cannot allow him to leave at this delicate time of the season.’
But it seems the Qatari club have now taken Xavi’s wishes into consideration and the final steps have been applied to complete the deal.
On Wednesday, Xavi said: ‘I’ve been talking to Barca for days, it’s done,’ Xavi said.
‘But now it depends on the conversations between clubs, they need to reach an agreement. Barca is coming to talk, we are all eager and excited. We’ll see if it ends up being done.
‘I really want to go home. I hope it happens. I have a contract and now the clubs have to negotiate. They already know my position.’