BARCELONA

Al Sadd executive director responds after Xavi-Barcelona talks

Al Sadd's executive director, Turki Al-Ali, accepts Xavi will end up at Barcelona "at some point" but ensures their head coach is focused on the job at hand in Qatar.

Al Sadd executive director responds after Xavi-Barcelona talks

Al Sadd’s executive director Turki Ali-Ali has made a statement on the Qatari club's official website in response to the news that head coach Xavi Hernandez had met with Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal to discuss the possibility of his return to Camp Nou in the role as head coach.

Following his exit from Barcelona in 2015 after some 20 years at the club, where he began as a young schoolboy, Xavi played out the twilight years of his career at Al Sadd before his retirement in July.

Since then he has been serving as the head coach of the Qatari outfit, who are currently third in the domestic league with seven wins from 11 games under the Barcelona legend.

Xavi has long been envisioned as the future Barcelona coach, which is something Al Saad director Ali-Ali accepts. Although for now, the club executive assures the former Spain international is completely focused on the job at hand at Al Sadd, who begin their AFC Champions League campaign next month against Saudi side Al-Nasr Riyadh.

Xavi focused on Al-Sadd

“The issue of Xavi going to Barcelona is normal and expected because he will be at his club and it’s his first home and he must return there in the future, but as of today, Xavi is the coach of Al Sadd," said Ali-Ali.

“Xavi and his team are focusing on tomorrow’s match against Al-Rayyan, and we know that a club with the size and professionalism of Barcelona will take to official channels to speak of such matters.”

Barcelona have just flown back from Saudi Arabia following their embarrassing 3-2 defeat to Atlético Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final in Jeddah – a result that has put further pressure on under-fire coach Ernesto Valverde.

And while Al Sadd will hope to hang on to their celebrated coach for more than one season, the allure of a return to Barcelona may be too enticing for Xavi should his former club come calling for him to replace Valverde in the summer.