Barcelona could be forced to abandon their pursuit of Xavi following their sacking of Ronald Koeman with Al-Sadd insisting that their manager is going nowhere.
The former Spain international midfielder and Barcelona icon was first linked to the Camp Nou job prior to Koeman's arrival, and had been installed as favourite following the Dutchman's departure and the appointment of Sergi Barjuan as caretaker.
And now, despite Barcelona chiefs traveling to the Middle East to further negotiations, it appears as though Al-Sadd have no interest in allowing the 41-year-old to move back to Spain.
Xavi's current contract at the club runs until the summer of 2023, and they are currently top of the Qatar Stars League table following their title triumph last season.
Al-Sadd’s statement from club CEO Turki Al-Ali states: "We welcome the visit of the administrative delegation from #Barcelona, and we appreciate and respect this.
"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."
Xavi's talented squad includes the likes of Andre Ayew and Santi Cazorla, with the Spaniard scoring 21 goals in his 39 games for the club.
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Al Sadd said of the World Cup winner said earlier this week: “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.”
As the confusion goes on, Pep Guardiola has handed Xavi his backing should another U-turn take place in Catalonia.
He said: "Xavi, if it happens, I don’t have any doubts he’s ready to do the job. Xavi knows the environment which is so important. He knows the game, he has passion. He has more experience now that I had when I took over."
Adding: "The success I had was because of the quality of the players. Xavi of course is really good, I wish if Xavi is the next manager him all the best and hopefully step by step the team can come back.
“Ronald and myself know exactly that we depend and live and expect and we are there for the results.
"Nobody can survive without results, no Koeman, no Pep. He’s a friend of mine, I wish him the best and will see him soon and I’m sure he did good things for the young players in the academy. Everybody knows it, doesn’t matter what you do it depends on the job.”
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