Al Sadd have addressed rumours linking manager Xavi with the vacant head coach role at Barcelona by reiterating the former Spain international remains tied to a two-year contract.
Ronald Koeman was sacked by Barcelona after the club’s dismal start to the 2021-22 campaign continued with a shock defeat to Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.
That left them ninth in LaLiga and six points off the top – that gap has since been stretched to nine.
Sergi Barjuan was placed in temporary charge until a permanent successor to Koeman is found, and Blaugrana great Xavi is the hot favourite.
The 41-year-old has long been seen as a potential future head coach at Barca, and he is even reported to have turned down two approaches in the past: before Quique Setien was hired to replace Ernesto Valverde, and earlier this year when Joan Laporta reclaimed the presidency.
Laporta addressed the media beside Sergi on Friday and did little to cool speculation as he spoke of his surety that Xavi will one day coach Barcelona – though the president did at least follow that with the caveat of not knowing when that would be.
But while it seems inevitable that Barca will approach Xavi once again in the coming days, Al Sadd have at least attempted to calm the situation from their own perspective.
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 pic.twitter.com/dJP4g0xZBx
— #76 Al Sadd SC | نادي السد (@AlsaddSC) October 29, 2021
A statement posted to Twitter read: “In response to what’s circulating recently, the Al Sadd 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.”
Xavi came through the ranks at Barca and went on to make 767 appearances for the club during one of their most illustrious periods.
He left for Al Sadd in 2014 and finished his playing career there, before taking over as coach and leading them to seven domestic trophies.
Barca face Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on Saturday and are away to Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League three days later.