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Dublin: 11°C Friday 26 February 2021

Is MLS a more likely destination for Xavi as he denies imminent Al Sadd deal?

The veteran midfielder has claimed that he only visited Qatar for personal reasons.

BARCELONA MIDFIELDER XAVI has played down suggestions that he is set to sign a contract with Qatar Stars League club Al Sadd.

The former Spain international spent four days of the international window in Qatar, with Al Sadd president Mohammad Al Ali claiming they were confident of luring the 35-year-old away from the Camp Nou side.

However, upon his return to Spain, Xavi insisted he had only visited the Gulf nation for a family holiday.

“It was just a visit, nothing more, just a visit,” the midfielder was quoted as saying by AS.

Xavi is widely expected to leave his boyhood club at the end of the season, bringing to an end a 24-year association with Barcelona that started in the club’s academy La Masia, with the MLS and Stars League considered the two most likely destinations.

But although a number of reports suggest Xavi will sign a three-year deal with Al Sadd – a former club of ex-Real Madrid striker Raul – the Barcelona captain denied any agreement.

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“When I have some news, I’ll let you know…,” he added.

Xavi has also been linked with New York City in MLS, where he would join ex-Barcelona team-mate David Villa.

– First published 08.28


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