Xavi Signs Contract Extension With Al-Sadd Amid Barcelona Return Rumours

Xavier Hernandez
Al-Sadd have confirmed a new deal for manager Xavi | Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Qatari side Al-Sadd have confirmed that manager Xavi has signed a contract extension covering the 2020/21 season, amid widespread reports that he is to succeed Quique Setien at Barcelona.

Xavi spent his entire playing career with Barça prior to joining Al-Sadd in 2015, where he has since taken over as the club’s manager. He has impressed in his debut spell as a coach, winning the Qatari Cup earlier this year, and a report this weekend claimed that his former club have agreed terms over his return to the Nou Camp.

Al-Sadd, however, announced on Sunday that he has extended his stay in Qatar by one year, signing up to assume his role for next season.

“I am happy that the squad is complete today after the return of the remaining first team players, in preparation for this upcoming period and the resumption of the league championship,” Xavi said in a club statement.

“I am happy to continue with Al-Sadd, and the team’s goal will always be to compete for all titles.”

The statement adds a further quote from Xavi saying that his “complete focus in this current period is to fully equip the players for the upcoming domestic and Asian competitions.”

Al-Sadd currently sit third in the Stars League ahead of the campaign resuming later this month, and his new deal keeps him contracted until the end of next season – which would be August 2021, given that the Qatari calendar operates differently to Europe.

The new deal might appear to be a spanner in the works for Barça, but the reality is that if the Catalan giants want the former midfielder as their new head coach, well, they will probably get him.

Xavi has made no bones about his plans to return to the club down the line if the circumstances are right, but the extension does entitle Al-Sadd to a significant compensation figure should he leave before his contract expires.

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