Xavi is finally on the brink of returning to Barcelona in a managerial capacity after pleading with Al-Sadd to let him take charge of the Catalan giants, according to reports. The 41-year-old is widely expected to replace Ronald Koeman in the dugout at Barcelona after the Dutchman was relieved of his duties last week.
Barcelona have endured a torrid start to the new campaign, winning just four of their 11 matches in La Liga to occupy ninth place in the table.
They have also been subjected to heavy defeats in the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich and Benfica respectively.
The five-time European champions decided to give Koeman his marching orders last month and quickly identified Xavi as their preferred candidate to assume the role.
The latter has enjoyed a successful recent spell in charge of Al-Sadd, boasting a win rate of 68.5 per cent after leading them to an impressive Qatari title last season.
It seems as though he is now poised to make the switch to Barcelona over the coming days in spite of Al-Sadd’s reluctance to let him leave in the middle of the campaign.
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Xavi is just ‘hours away’ from being confirmed as the new manager of his former club after they sent a delegation to Qatar in order to smooth over the arrangements, according to Marca.
The report claims that Barcelona are nearing a resolution to their search for a new boss after Xavi convinced Al-Sadd to allow the move to go ahead with a heartfelt plea.
His current employers were initially expected to take a firm stance in order to keep hold of their manager, but have reportedly taken his wishes into consideration and will not stand in his way.
Xavi begged the club to let him join Barcelona after Wednesday evening’s clash with Al-Duhail, telling reporters: “I’ve been talking to Barca 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. Barca 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 letting him go]. I feel very emotional about it.”
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Barcelona can strike an agreement with Al-Sadd to poach the services of Xavi over the coming days.
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It seems as though a hefty financial package could be enough to tempt them into parting ways with the Spanish boss, who is regarded as one of Barcelona’s greatest ever legends.
However, Al-Sadd released a strong statement on Wednesday outlining their desire to retain Xavi, insisting that he needs to stay at the club until the end of the campaign at least.
“We welcome the visit of the delegation from Barca, we respect them,” said Al-Sadd CEO Turki Al-Ali.
“The club’s position is clear from the beginning. We are committed to keeping Xavi with us and we can’t have him leave at this sensitive time of the season.”