Barcelona chiefs 'jet to Qatar in a bid to FINALLY seal a deal with Al-Sadd for Xavi to become their new manager', with Spaniard set to take charge of his first game after the international break

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Barcelona chiefs 'jet to Qatar in a bid to FINALLY seal a deal with Al-Sadd for Xavi to become their new manager', with Spaniard set to take charge of his first game after the international break

  • Barcelona are expected to appoint Xavi as their new manager on Thursday
  • The Catalans reportedly sent out a team to Qatar on Wednesday to seal the deal
  • Xavi is not expected to be in charge for Saturday's LaLiga clash with Celta Vigo
  • That means the Spaniard will be in the dugout for the first time on November 18 

Barcelona executives have travelled to Qatar on Wednesday to complete a deal for Xavi Hernandez to become the Catalans' new boss, according to reports. 

Sportsmail revealed this week that Xavi is set to be confirmed as the club's new boss on Thursday, but Barcelona fans will have to wait until after the international break before the Spaniard appears in the Nou Camp dugout. 

Even though the 48-year-old is set to be confirmed as the Catalans boss before the weekend, interim coach Sergi Barjuan will still take charge of the LaLiga giants' clash with Celta Vigo this weekend. 

Barcelona executives have flown to Qatar on Wednesday to seal a deal for Xavi, say reports

Barcelona executives have flown to Qatar on Wednesday to seal a deal for Xavi, say reports

Barcelona executives have flown to Qatar on Wednesday to seal a deal for Xavi, say reports

Vice-president Rafa Yuste (left) and football director Mateu Alemany (right) have gone to Qatar

Vice-president Rafa Yuste (left) and football director Mateu Alemany (right) have gone to Qatar

And according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona vice-president Rafa Yuste and sporting director Mateu Alemany travelled from Barcelona's Champions League clash in Kiev to Qatar to seal a deal for Xavi. 

Barca president Joan Laporta, who sacked Ronald Koeman on the flight back from the defeat by Rayo Vallecano last month, will not be part of the travelling Barcelona contingent as he will stay in Spain.  

The report adds that all that remains is for Barcelona to officially agree a deal with Al Sadd, Xavi's current club in the Qatari Sports League, with the Spanish coach reportedly having a £840,000 release clause in his contract, which has two years left to run. 

Though Xavi and Barcelona have reportedly already reached an agreement over a contract at the Nou Camp, with the 41-year-old set to take a pay cut to take over his former club. 

Xavi will be announced as Barcelona's new coach on Thursday but will not start straight away

Xavi will be announced as Barcelona's new coach on Thursday but will not start straight away

Xavi, meanwhile, is completely focused on Al Sadd's league match away at Al Duhail, which kicks-off at 4.55pm (UK time) on Wednesday, even though he is set to be announced as Barcelona head coach as early as Thursday. 

The Spaniard, who played over 700 times for Barcelona as a player, is set to be in the Barcelona dugout for the first time on November 18 against fierce rivals Espanyol. 

After the international break, Xavi will be tasked with trying to get Barcelona away from mid-table obscurity, with the LaLiga giants sitting in ninth place - nine points off the summit of the Spanish top-flight after three games without a win. 

The Catalans' chances of reaching the Champions League last-16 were boosted by back-to-back victories over Ukrainian side Dinamo Kiev - though a clash against Benfica on November 23 will help decide their knockout fate.  

Xavi needs to take Barcelona away from mid-table obscurity after Ronald Koeman's sacking

Xavi needs to take Barcelona away from mid-table obscurity after Ronald Koeman's sacking

Meanwhile, there are doubts over the timing of putting a club legend in charge of the first team and Hristo Stoichkov has added his weight to the argument that it's the wrong time for young coach Xavi.

The former Barcelona striker told TUDN USA: 'Four months ago Joan [Laporta] said Xavi was still very green, that he was not prepared and that he needed to have more experience.

'Then he wakes up and says that Xavi is the best man for the club. Is this another legend who will end up having to leave out the back door?'  

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