Sunday, January 29, 2023

Barcelona in talks with Al-Saad to coach Xavi Hernandez

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona are in talks with Qatari club Al-Sad to release Xavi Hernandez so the former midfield great can return to Camp Nou as coach.

“The two clubs are in talks and we don’t know how it will end,” Xavi told Catalan public television station TV3 on Wednesday. “It’s so exciting. I don’t know what will happen.”

The former Spain midfielder said coaching Barcelona would be “an exciting step forward” in his career.

“I am a very positive person. I am confident that common sense will prevail and there will be a compromise,” said Xavi. “Both clubs know my situation, and I hope this will be resolved soon.

“We’re all very curious. That would be fantastic.”

Al-Sadd is not so eager to let him go.

In a statement, Xavi’s current employer said he “welcomed the visit of the administrative delegation” from Barcelona. But Al-Sad’s CEO Turki Al-Ali said: “The position of the club has been clear from the start – we are committed to having our coach Xavi with us and we cannot afford to leave him at this sensitive time of the season.”

Al-Sadd leads the Qatari league by three points after nine matches.

Barcelona have played two matches under caretaker coach Sergi Barjuan, who took over after the firing of Ronald Koeman with the team struggling in both the Spanish League and the Champions League.

Barcelona’s next game is on Saturday at Celta Vigo.

Xavi, 41, left Barcelona in 2015 and has helped the club win 25 titles in 17 seasons, including four European Cups. He was also instrumental for Spain winning the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

Since then, he has been at Al-Sadd first as a player and then as its coach.


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