Al-Sadd manager Xavi Hernandez said a return to Barcelona would be “spectacular and exciting” as he confirmed on Wednesday that he is in negotiations to become his former club’s new coach.
Barcelona officials Rafa Yuste and Mateu Alemany travelled to Doha on Tuesday to try to negotiate Xavi’s release from the Qatari club and met with the former midfielder’s agents on Wednesday.
Barca is looking to replace Dutchman Ronald Koeman who was sacked last week following a poor start to the campaign.
“The clubs are talking. Can’t say much but I’m a positive person. It’s about common sense. They need to reach an agreement. That’s the issue,” Xavi told reporters after his team’s 3-3 draw with Al-Duhail in the Qatari league on Wednesday.
“I have been talking to Barca for days, it’s all set. The clubs know my position and I hope it gets resolved soon.
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“I wish I go back home. Going back to Barcelona would be spectacular and exciting,” Xavi said before adding that he was going out for dinner with Al-Sadd and Barcelona officials.
Earlier on Wednesday, Al-Sadd appeared unwilling to let its manager leave.
“We welcome the visit of the administrative delegation from Barcelona, and we appreciate and respect this,” the Qatari club’s CEO Turki Al-Ali said in a social media statement on Al-Sadd’s official Twitter account.
“The club’s position is clear from the beginning – we are committed to keeping our coach Xavi with us and we cannot have him leave at this sensitive time of the season.”
Spanish media reported that Xavi, who enjoyed an illustrious career with Barcelona from 1998-2015, has a release clause of 10 million euros ($11.6 million).
Barcelona sacked Koeman after a dismal start to the season. The club, ninth in La Liga, is currently under the guidance of caretaker coach Sergi Barjuan.