‘I want to go home’ – Xavi urges Al-Sadd to let him return to Barcelona



Al-Sadd boss Xavi has urged his current club to allow him to leave and take over as Barcelona manager.

Barcelona executives were in Doha on Wednesday to meet with Al-Sadd officials over Xavi, who has been identified as Barca’s top choice to take over after Ronald Koeman was sacked.

WhileAl-Sadd released a statement saying they aimed to keep Xavi, the 41-year-old has now expressed his desire to “go home” to the club where he starred as a player for 17 seasons.

What was said?

“I’ve been talking to Barca for days, it’s done,” Xavi said after Al-Sadd drew Al-Duhail 3-3 in a Qatar Stars League match on Wednesday. “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.”

Al-Sadd captain Abdelkarim Hassan seemed resigned to his manager’s departure, saying after the game: “Everyone is sad because of Xavi’s departure, but he will coach a big team like Barcelona.”

“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.” 

Following Wednesday’s game Xavi made sure he shook the hands of all of his players and the referees, in what could have been seen as a farewell.

What’s next?

Goal reported earlier on Wednesday that the two clubs were closing in on a deal for Xavi to take over at Barca.

Al-Sadd however later released a statement saying: “We are committed to keeping our coach Xavi with us and we cannot have him leave at this sensitive time of the season.”

Nevertheless, Xavi now appears to be trying to force Al-Sadd’s hand. Should a deal be completed, Xavi could be presented next week with his first match in charge to come on November 20 against Espanyol.

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