Why is Xavi being allowed to move to Qatar?

Various reports are suggesting long-serving Barcelona midfielder Xavi is close to signing for Al Sadd in the summer. Xavi, 35, looks set to end a 24-year association with the Spanish club, but why is he being allowed to move to the Qatari club?

“(Al Sadd) confirms the latest news about the club’s interest in signing the Spanish star Xavi Hernandez is still under negotiation. On the matter, the FC Barcelona player is currently in Doha with his family to know more about the country he would live in if he were to decide to join the club. The club would make further official announcements only if further developments take place,” said a club statement.

Such a deal appears close to taking place, but a player who has been among the best in his position for close to a decade shouldn’t be allowed to leave Europe. There are many clubs who would want Xavi, and he won’t have been without interest from the best sides in the world.

German Bundesliga holders and current leaders Bayern Munich signed 33-year-old Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid – who plays a similar role as Xavi, and manager Pep Guardiola – a former Barcelona player, manager, and teammate of Xavi – would certainly consider renewing acquaintances with such a brilliant club servant. Juventus have managed to get the best form from 35-years-old Andrea Pirlo, so they could be another side interested.

His importance for Barcelona has dwindled, however, and that has led to him losing his place in the side to summer signing Ivan Rakitic. Despite that, Xavi still has plenty to offer a side willing to play to his strengths. Xavi’s CV trumps that of most existing players, but the Catalans are happy to let him go.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said: “Xavi has earned the right to decide (his) future. He has a contract until the end of the next (season). If he believes he must finish earlier, (he will) have the full support of the board.”

The former Spanish international has reportedly been taking a tour of the club to see their facilities, and Al Sadd are currently second in the table in their domestic league. He’s made 750 appearances for Barcelona, and has helped transform the way football has been played in Spain. Few players will ever match his achievements in football, so Al Sadd are very fortunate to have a player of his quality and fame close to joining the club.

Xavi does turn 36 next January, however, he still has a couple more years of service in his position, yet he has been allowed to join Al Sadd rather than a more presitigious European outfit?