Al Sadd issue a public warning to Barcelona over Xavi approach

Xavi agrees £5.4m-a-year deal, to replace Setien as Barcelona manager

Qatari club Al Sadd have publicly warned Barcelona to stay off their manager Xavi Hernandez, according to Football Espana.

The Spanish club are searching for a manager after they sacked Ronald Koeman this week, and have approached their former player, who is currently managing Qatari side Al Sadd.

But the club has issued a public statement insisting that Xavi still has two years on his contract and is fully committed to staying with the club. 

After Barcelona made their approach for Xavi public, Al Sadd released a statement on their Twitter handle asking the Camp Nou side to steer clear. 

The statement read: “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. #AlwaysAlSadd”.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta had earlier admitted that the club has been in talks with the Xavi over filling the vacancy at Nou Camp but refused to confirm whether the 41-year-old would take over from Koeman.

“My opinion about Xavi as a manager is he is in a process of learning, evolving, I have really good references from close people who know him better than me in that way,” Laporta said at a press conference on Friday. 

“I talked with him two months ago when we gave Ronald Koeman this confidence because I understand that we had to give him those months. The team needed some time to recover.

“I have a great relationship with Xavi. I have been speaking with him in the last month. I know his opinion about this squad, what he thinks has to happen. We talk as two friends and in this case, my opinion is a really good one.

“I am talking to him because he loves football. He is a huge Barca fan. It is one of his goals in his life.

“If he is the one able to manage this squad, I have a great relationship with him and he is a possibility because we will see how everything will continue evolving.

“These are private conversations between friends and I cannot explain what we talked about.”