The appointment of Xavi Hernandez as the new manager of Barcelona was expected to be announced this week. However, despite the optimism, there continue to be roadblocks along the way, with his current employers, Al Sadd, not letting go without a fight.
Barcelona vice-president Rafa Yuste and sporting director Mateu Alemany flew down to Doha on Wednesday to sort out the deal and met with the emissaries of Al Sadd owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Al Thani, to convey the club’s proposal, reports AS.
The Qatari club’s owner is insisting on negotiating with Barca president Joan Laporta, whose absence in Doha is proving to be an issue. Nevertheless, the report claims that both the club and Xavi continue to remain positive about the deal going through.
In fact, the 41-year-old tactician’s camp is assured that the matter will be resolved in one or two days, in time for Barca to make the announcement of his appointment on Saturday.
Mohammed Bin Al Thani remains the final obstacle, but that situation is also expected to be sorted out. The Al Sadd owner will be made aware of Barcelona’s proposal this morning, post which Xavi himself plans to meet with him.
It is claimed that the Sheikh had a gentleman’s agreement with Xavi to let him go if Barcelona come calling for him and as things stand, it is believed that he will eventually yield and release the former Spanish international, even though Laporta’s absence to negotiate is being seen as lack of respect.
Then there is also the matter of Xavi’s €5million buyout clause which the Sheikh needs to forego, which could be tricky due to Laporta not travelling, as per the report. However, Barcelona are willing to offer to play a friendly with Al Sadd in Doha in the future in order to convince the owner to waive the fee.
So, despite the hindrance, the feeling within Barcelona and Xavi’s camp is that the deal will be over the line tomorrow, i.e. Friday, which would allow the club icon to travel to Catalonia on Saturday or Sunday before he gets presented to the media on Monday.
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