Barcelona: Xavi is 'fully focused' on staying at Al Sadd, club confirm

Al Sadd publicly warn Barcelona off Xavi by insisting he has a two-year contract to honour and is ‘fully focused’ on their upcoming fixtures, despite strong links with the vacancy at the Nou Camp

  • Al Sadd have insisted that Xavi is fully committed to staying with the club 
  • The Qataris are desperate to keep their manager amid links with Barcelona 
  • Xavi, 41, is the Catalonians’ No 1 target after Ronald Koeman’s sacking this week 
  • Yet Al Sadd say Xavi is ‘fully focused’ and has two years left on his contract 

Al Sadd have upped the ante in their bid to keep hold of Xavi as the Qatari club insisted the Barcelona legend is committed to the club amid links with a return to the Nou Camp.

Xavi is the strong favourite to takeover in Catalonia after Barcelona parted ways with Ronald Koeman this week after the Dutchman oversaw the club’s worst start to a season since 1987-88.

The Qataris are desperate to keep hold of the Spaniard and shared stories on Thursday of fans begging Xavi to stay, and have upped the ante by clarifying the 41-year-old’s contractual position on Twitter.

Al Sadd have insisted that Xavi remains ‘fully focused’ on staying with the Qatari champions

Xavi is Barcelona’s No 1 target to turn things around after they sacked Ronald Koeman

‘In response to what’s circulating recently, the #AlSadd management reaffirms that Xavi has a two-year contract with the club and is fully focused on the team’s upcoming matches, to maintain our lead at the top of the league and to defend the title. #AlwaysAlSadd’.

On Friday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta admitted that the club have been in talks with Xavi over a return but refused to confirm whether the Spaniard would take over from Koeman.

‘My opinion about Xavi as a manager is he is in a process learning, evolving, I have really good references from close people who know him better than me in that way,’ he said at a press conference on Friday. 

‘I talked with him two months ago when we gave Ronald Koeman this confidence because I understand that we had to give him those months, the team needed some time to recover.

The Qatari champions tweeted that Xavi is ‘fully focused’ and has two years left on his contract

Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirmed on Friday that he has held talks with the Spaniard

‘I have a great relationship with Xavi, I have been speaking with him in the last month, I know his opinion about this squad, what he thinks has to happen. We talk as two friends and in this case my opinion is a really good one.

‘I am talking to him because he loves football, he is a huge Barca fan, it is one of his goals in his life.

‘If he is the one able to manage this squad, I have a great relationship with him and he is a possibility because we will see how everything will continue evolving.

‘These are private conversations between friends and I cannot explain what we talked about. 

Barcelona are in turmoil after Koeman oversaw the club’s worst start to a season since 1987-88

‘I already told you and I cannot explain anything about our options because it will not be professional and it will affect our plans. I am sorry, but I cannot tell you anything.

‘I have always said one day he will be Barca’s head coach but I don’t know when. We have great references about Xavi at Al Sadd.

‘All our reports about Xavi are positive. We can talk a lot about Xavi but I cannot give you more details. He is in all the papers, but we also have other options.’ 

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