Al Sadd confirm Xavi is leaving the Club to join Barcelona


Al Sadd announced on Friday that Xavi Hernandez will leave to return to Barcelona as their new coach following the dismissal of Ronald Koeman.

Sources told ESPN that Barca have paid Xavi’s €5 million release clause and the 41-year-old will return to the club after six years with Al Sadd, first as a player before taking over as manager in 2019.

Al Sadd released a statement confirming the move on Friday morning. Barcelona are yet to officially announce the deal but are expected to do so later in the day.

“The Al Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract,” an Al Sadd statement read. “We have agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future.

“Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd’s history and we wish him success. Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way.”

The former Barca and Spain midfielder will Officially take over  after the November international break. Interim coach Sergi Barjuan will remain in charge for Saturday’s match at Celta Vigo, with Xavi’s first game set to be the Catalan derby against Espanyol at Camp Nou on Nov. 20.

Barca vice president Rafa Yuste and director of football Mateu Alemany travelled to Qatar this week to close the deal, with negotiations accelerating with Al Sadd after Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Al-Duhail. Xavi said goodbye to the Al Sadd players after that game before imploring the two clubs to “come to an agreement” given his desire to return to Barca.

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