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Barcelona finally announce Xavi as new boss – in middle of the night – as legend returns on two-and-a-half year deal

BARCELONA have announced Xavi as their new manager… in the middle of the night. The Catalan giants pursued their former midfielder after sacking Ronald Koeman last week. They finally got their man yesterday, after arranging to have his £4million release clause at Al-Sadd paid. But they didn’t formally announce his return as boss until 2am […] ...

BARCELONA have announced Xavi as their new manager… in the middle of the night.

The Catalan giants pursued their former midfielder after sacking Ronald Koeman last week.

EPA

Xavi has been managing Al-Sadd in Qatar[/caption]

AFP

The former Barcelona captain left in 2015[/caption]

They finally got their man yesterday, after arranging to have his £4million release clause at Al-Sadd paid.

But they didn’t formally announce his return as boss until 2am local time.

Xavi, 41, has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at Barca.

He was pictured welling up as he said emotional goodbyes to his players at Al-Sadd.

His former side are currently unbeaten this season in Qatar and sit top of the league table.

The former Spain star finished his playing career in the Middle East after leaving Barcelona in 2015.

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And he would become manager of Al-Sadd in 2019.

After taking the reins, he won last season’s league title, as well as a number of domestic cups.

On his departure, Al-Sadd confirmed: “The administration has agreed on Xavi’s move to Barcelona after the payment of the release clause stipulated in the contract.

“We’ve agreed on cooperation with Barcelona in the future. Xavi is an important part of Al-Sadd’s history and we wish him success.

“Xavi informed us a few days ago of his desire to go to Barcelona at this particular time, because of the critical stage his hometown club is going through, and we understand this and decided not to stand in his way.”

He returns to Barcelona with his old side having struggled this season after a summer of turmoil that saw Lionel Messi forced to leave.

They sit ninth in the LaLiga table after 11 games, ahead of this afternoon’s trip to Celta Vigo.

Xavi will not be in the dugout, instead arriving in Catalonia over the weekend before being formally unveiled on Monday.

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