Al-Sadd director claims Xavi deal

The ex-Spain international was already close to leaving Barcelona last year before eventually staying put, but now appears to be on his way out of Camp Nou after all

Barcelona legend Xavi is set to leave the Primera Division leaders to sign for Al-Sadd this summer, according to the Qatari club’s sporting director.

The 35-year-old was close to leaving Barcelona ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, but eventually elected to remain at Camp Nou following talks with head coach Luis Enrique.

Rumours of a move away from his long-time home re-surfaced over the last couple of weeks, with a move to the MLS as a potential option, too.

However, sharing pictures of Xavi in Qatar on social media, first-team manager Abdullah Al-Berik has claimed Xavi will continue his career at Al Sadd.

“Al Sadd have just managed to sign Barcelona captain Xavi and this is a picture of him with sporting director Muhammed Ghoulam,” he wrote on Instagram.

تشافي مع مسؤولي السد قبل التوقيع للزعيم

— adel mansour (@antonio7alex) March 27, 2015

Goal understands that a contract between the two parties is yet to be formalised, though could be agreed sooner rather than later, with Xavi expected to ink a three-year deal.

The experienced midfielder joined Barcelona as a youth back in 1991 and, after cutting his teeth in the club’s reserve team, became a first-team regular in the 1999-2000 season.

In total, Xavi has seven La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.

He is set to follow in the footsteps of former Barcelona players such as Pep Guardiola, Gabri Garcia, Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer, Christophe Dugarry, Romario and Sonny Anderson, who all made the move to Qatar as well at some stage of their career.