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Report: Barcelona staple Xavi set for move to Qatar

Jun 18, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

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The Barcelona overhaul looks to be in full swing, as the manager of Qatari club Al-Arabi claims he had signed Xavi to a pre-contract agreement.

Former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu, who now managed Al-Arabi, says he spoke with Xavi and an agent is down in Brazil to work with the Spanish midfielder.

“Xavi has signed a pre-contract with Al-Arabi,” Petrescu told DigiSport. “It looks likely that he’ll join but he does have offers from other clubs. I have spoken to him personally.”

Under new manager Luis Enrique, the Barcelona midfield is seeing a major change. Cesc Fabregas was sold to Chelsea, and now it appears the 34-year-old Xavi is gone as well.

Between the pair, Barcelona are losing 66 La Liga appearances from last season, and a combination of 4,207 successful passes.

Xavi has spent his entire career at Barcelona, playing in their youth system until 1998 when he made his debut at 18 years old.  He has 474 La Liga appearances with Barcelona during that time.

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Barcelona defender Dani Alves was absolutely shocked by the news, and when Digisport broke it to him, he initially thought it was a joke. “I can not believe I actually can not,” Alves said. “It’s not a joke? If Xavi, a club emblem can go, then can anyone go from Barcelona. I can not understand this!  I hope, however, that’s a joke, right? I’m in shock, Xavi can not leave us!”

During Spain’s demolition at the hands of the Netherlands, the 34-year-old looked to be one of Spain’s only solid options in the midfield, completing 71/78 passes and finding himself doing most of the hard work, although he was nowhere to be seen defensively.  Others, such as Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso, struggled mightily with even short passing.

Somewhat forgotten is the sale of Thiago Alcantara last summer to Bayern Munich, a young midfield playmaker who would be perfect for the overhaul had they convinced him to stick around.

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