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Al Sadd agree to release Xavi ahead of Barca switch

FOOTBALL By Reuters | November 5th 2021 | 2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez waves to supporters after their Spanish first division soccer match against Deportivo de la Coruna at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, May 23, 2015. REUTERS

Xavi Hernandez is free to take over as head coach of Barcelona after the Catalan club paid the release clause in his contract with Al Sadd, the Qatari team said on Friday.

Al Sadd agreed to release Xavi, who is set to take the reins at his former club following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.

"Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way," Al Sadd CEO Turki Al-Ali said in a statement.

"The #AlSadd administration has agreed on Xavi's move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract. We've agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future. Xavi is an important part of Al Sadd's history and we wish him success."

Al-Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez reacts in a past match. [Agencies]

Xavi is set to replace caretaker coach Sergi Barjuan who was appointed after the club sacked Koeman L1N2RN3BY following a 1-0 league defeat at Rayo Vallecano last month, their fourth loss in six games in all competitions.

Former Spain international Xavi joined Al Sadd as a player in 2015 after 17 trophy-laden years with Barcelona, becoming their head coach after hanging up his boots in 2019.

In April, the 41-year-old led his side to the Qatari domestic league title with the team remaining unbeaten.

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