Qatar Stars League football club Al Sadd on Saturday disclosed that its current manager Xavi is in talks with Barcelona to take over as coach.
Spanish media had earlier reported that Barcelona had asked the retired Spanish professional footballer who played as a midfielder, Xavi to take over from the under-pressure Ernesto Valverde after their ouster in the Spanish Super Cup.
“I will not deny that. There are negotiations about Xavi and everyone is talking about them… but I can say that Xavi so far is at Al-Sadd,” Muhammad Ghulam Al-Balushi, Al-Sadd’s sports director, told the Qatar-based BeIN broadcaster.
“The final decision is in the hands of Al-Sadd’s management, in the hands of the manager, and the hands of Barcelona’s management,” he added ahead of Al-Sadd’s 4-1 semifinal victory against Al-Rayyan in the Qatar Cup.
Xavi declined to confirm the speculation at the post-match media briefing but said he had met Barcelona’s director of football Eric Abdidal during his recent trip to Qatar.
“I’m focussing on Al-Sadd. Yes Abidal is my friend, I met him many times,” he said.
“They were here to talk to me and we discussed many things. And they were here to check how is Ousmane Dembele.
“I cannot inform you too much, just that I met Abidal and he is my friend.”
But he added: “I cannot hide that it’s my dream to coach Barcelona, I said it many times.”
World Cup winner Xavi, 39, came through the Barcelona academy and played 855 senior games for the Camp Nou side.
He joined Al-Sadd as a player in 2015 before being appointed coach last July.