Soccer-Xavi signs new contract with Qatari side Al-Sadd to 2023

FILE PHOTO: File photo: Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez waves to supporters after their Spanish first division soccer match against Deportivo de la Coruna at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, May 23, 2015. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino/File Photo/File Photo

(Reuters) - Xavi Hernandez has chosen to extend his stay in charge of Qatari side Al-Sadd for another two years, his club said on Wednesday, dampening speculation he could take over at former club Barcelona next season.

The former midfield great joined Al-Sadd as a player in 2015 after 17 trophy-laden years with Barca, becoming head coach after hanging up his boots in 2019. Last month he led the team to the Qatari domestic league title while remaining unbeaten.

Xavi turned down the chance to coach the Catalans in January 2020 after Ernesto Valverde was sacked and has continued to be linked with the top job at the Camp Nou, even since Ronald Koeman succeeded Quique Setien last August.

Koeman’s future at Barca is far from secure after a topsy turvy campaign but Xavi’s new deal with Al-Sadd means the Dutchman does not have to worry about the former Spain midfielder coming for his job any time soon.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis