Xavi Hernandez extends Al Sadd contract amid Barcelona return links

Former Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez has renewed his contract with Al Sadd, appearing to rule out his return to the Camp Nou this year.

The Qatari club confirmed the renewal on Sunday amid rumours that the former central midfielder would replace current incumbent Quique Setien in the Barcelona dugout this summer.

The former central midfielder was reportedly approached by the Blaugrana over the managerial position in January after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde.

However, despite reported meetings being held in the Middle East in a frantic week, no agreement was reached and the Catalan giants ultimately decided to appoint Setien.

The Blaugrana trail Real Madrid in the league title race and there are question marks over Setien’s future beyond this season.

Xavi made 767 first-team appearances for the Catalan giants between 1998 and 2015, alongside winning 133 caps for the Spanish national team.

He won eight La Liga titles alongside three Copa del Rey crowns and four Champions League trophies in his total of 25 titles with the club.

“I do not know why people see me as a Barça coach, but I am proud of that and I really like it,” Xavi told ‘youtuber’ DjMaRiiO, as cited by El Mundo, earlier this year. “Now that I have proven myself as a Coach, I see myself as capable and it is a dream for me to return to Barcelona.

“I consider Barça to be my home, it is my life. I am in an apprenticeship, I am learning a lot as a Coach here in Qatar, at Al-Sadd. I would be very excited, but coaching Barça is a much bigger thing, you have to see it clearly. It is a whole process and I hope that one day it can come.”

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