Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez is poised to sign a three-year contract with Qatari club Al Sadd, according to reports in Spain.
The Spain playmaker will join Al Sadd at the end of the season and replace former Real Madrid star Raul in the side, according to AS.
Xavi, 35, is set to receive a salary of €10 million and will study for his coaching licences during his time in Qatar at the Aspire Academy, the reports say.
Xavi had considered other options including proposals from Major League Soccer, AS said, but finally was swayed by the Al Sadd offer, which will see him earn an extra €10 million should he complete a fourth term.
New York City FC coach Jason Kreis called Xavi “one of the best players in the world” during a news conference this week, but admitted he was unsure how he would fit in with the club if they were to make him an offer.
“When you think about a player like Xavi Hernandez, for me one of the best players in the world ever, a big, big fan of his, you say to yourself on one side there’s no doubt a player like that would be great at New York City,” Kreis said.
“But when you look at it from another point of view and you say you only get three [Designated Players] and we’ve already got another one that plays in the midfield and you’ve got a third one in David Villa whose all relative age are getting up there, you start to think maybe not.
“I would say I’m really split, on the fence. I’m a huge fan of Xavi Hernandez, I think he would be a huge player in this league, no doubt about it, huge for New York City, huge for our club, but positionally I don’t know it makes the best sense and the most sense, but I’m open for anything.”
The Aspire Academy in Qatar is headed by general director Ivan Bravo, the former director of Real Madrid.