Laporta won't travel to Doha to secure deal for Xavi
Joan Laporta will not join the Barcelona delegation due to travel to Qatar this morning. It is an inconvenience but shouldn't impede the deal for Xavi from going ahead.
The best possible way of pushing negotiations ahead to release Xavi Hernández from his contract with Al Sadd was for Joan Laporta to travel to Doha to deal with Mohammed bin Hamad in person as a sign of respect and courtesy. However, in the end the Barcelona president has decided not to fly out to Qatar, although his absence will not be a big obstacle for talks to go ahead, Xavi's entourage have told AS. They added that “everything will go smoothly" with or without Laporta taking part in negotiations.
Barcelona officials fly out to Qatar
Early on Wednesday morning, shortly after the Barça squad had touched down at El Prat airport returning from Kiev, a delegation comprising Sporting Vice-president Rafa Yuste and Director of Football Mateu Alemany boarded a flight to Doha.
Their mission is to meet Al Sadd's owner to formally announce the club's interest in signing their coach as well as personally thank the Sheikh for liberating Xavi after paying the release clause which is believed to be over one million euros.
There is also a chance that Barcelona and Al Sadd could strike a deal to ensure further compensation for the Qatari club such as organising a friendly match between both clubs in Doha at some point before next year's World Cup.
After receiving the go-ahead from the sheikh, Yuste and Alemany will meet with Xavi to draw up the contract, which will tie him to Barcelona until 30 June 2024. Xavi must also agree to a salary much lower than the one he currently earns at Al Sadd, but most likely including lucrative bonus payments for reaching targets. The main issue which needs to be settled is the number of assistants who will form Xavi's technical team but that is a matter which will likely be resolved soon.