05/11/2021; 8:32 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
Al Sadd continue to play hard-to-get as the club insists on retaining the Spaniard. Barcelona are currently without a manager as Sergi Barjuan is in place as a caretaker manager.
Let’s rewind a bit to the days of Ernesto Valverde. The Spaniard took the blame for the teams’ performances despite winning a few trophies. The Valverde results papered over the cracks that many failed to see and the club failed to address.
The over-dependence on Messi has turned out to be Barca’s undoing, as the departure of Valverde has proved. Barcelona have since tried different coaches in the quest to get the team firing once again. A slew of coaches have come and gone, yet the problem remains. The latest departure of Ronald Koeman leaves the club back in square one.
Barcelona’s number one target is Xavi Hernandez, a Barcelona legend who now plies his trade in Qatar. It should be easy to get the Xavi, but Al Sadd is playing hardball.
In the ’90s, R&B group Hi-five released a hit song that topped the airwaves. The song, “She’s Playing Hard to Get” ruled the airwaves. The song is kind of relevant to what Barca are going through at the hands of Al Sadd.
On Wednesday, officials of the Catalan club Barcelona, Rafa Yuste and Mateu Alemany flew to Doha to negotiate the release of their former player Xavi from Al Sadd. They met with the manager’s agent and spoke to officials of Al Sadd, who continue to prove a tough nut to crack.
According to Al Sadd CEO Turki Al-Ali, the club cannot have Xavi leave at a sensitive time of the season like this. This hard stance stems from Xavi’s excellent performance at the club.
Al-Sadd CEO Turki Al-Ali about Xavi: “We welcome the visit of the delegation from Barça, we respect them. The club's position is clear from the beginning - we are committed to keeping Xavi with us and we can’t have him leave at this sensitive time of the season”. 🔴 #FCB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 3, 2021
The search for a new manager to fill the void left behind by Ronald Koeman continues. The primary target is Xavi Hernandez, who has found himself in a bit of a quandary, with Al Sadd refusing to budge on his departure from the club.
Xavi signed a contract extension in May for two years. According to reports in the Spanish media, Xavi has a contract with a €10m release clause.
The Spaniard wants to return to Camp Nou and has described it as common sense but insists an agreement needs to be reached by both clubs.
Barca president Joan Laporta pointed out that talks are still going on. According to Laporta, it is at an advanced stage but with no agreement yet.
Meanwhile, Al Sadd maintains that they have no intention of letting Xavi leave the club now.
Barcelona are ninth on the La Liga log, but Xavi’s arrival could yet boost the team and atmosphere around the club.