Xavi reportedly set to pay his own release clause to return to Barcelona 6 months ago

Xavi reportedly set to pay his own release clause to return to Barcelona

We knew Barca's finances weren't great, but this is something else...

Xavi appears to be inching ever closer to becoming Barcelona's new manager.

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The club's legendary midfielder was quickly named as one of the favourites in the immediate aftermath of Ronald Koeman's dismissal earlier this month, but Barca have struggled to reach an agreement with his current employers, Al-Sadd.

The sticking point appears to be a release clause the Qatari club are demanding is paid before the 41-year-old returns to the Camp Nou.

This looked to have been addressed on Friday, with a tweet from Al-Sadd appearing to confirm the deal was all but done.

"The Al-Sadd administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract," the club's CEO, Turki Al-Ali, said.

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Most - us included - assumed that meant Barcelona, in spite of their financial difficulties, had found a way of scraping together the reported €5m fee Al-Sadd were demanding before they allowed Xavi to leave.

This, though, appears not to be the case. The release clause may well have been met, but according to some, it's Xavi himself - not the cash-strapped Catalans - who is offering to pay the money to push the move through.

A tweet from Qatar-based sports journalist Mohammed Al Kaabi maintains that the former Spain international will pay the money in order to release himself from his contract.  This has been picked up by the Spanish press, with AS amongst those to run the story.

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Barcelona currently sit ninth in La Liga after losing three and drawing four of their opening 11 fixtures. They are, however, on course to make it through to the Champions League, having moved into second in their group with a midweek win over Dynamo Kiev.

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