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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 17, 2014

Xavi 'signs pre-contract with Al Arabi'

Barcelona have added another key transfer to their ranks, Ivan Rakitic will join summer signings Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Alen Halilovic.

Al Arabi coach Dan Petrescu has told Digisport that Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has signed a pre-contract with the Qatari club.

- Tomas: Talented Rakitic to add much needed intensity to Barca

Xavi, 34, has been linked with an exit in recent months from a club where he has spent the entirety of his professional career, with the United States and Qatar touted as likely destinations.

The Blaugrana have already seen Victor Valdes depart this summer, while Carles Puyol has retired, and according to Petrescu, the midfielder is the next of the old guard to be leaving the Camp Nou.

"Xavi has signed a pre-contract with Al Arabi even though he has received offers from other clubs," he said in quotes translated by AS.com. "I personally contacted him about him joining us.

"The person who brought me to Al Arabi is currently in Brazil but it's difficult to confirm anything while he [Xavi] is taking part in the World Cup. Nevertheless I have been able to speak to him by phone and I asked him whether he would be interested in joining us. He's an extraordinary guy, he seems very sensible -- all of the great players are usually very modest, unassuming people."

He added: "We are sounding out a number of top players who are currently with their respective national sides at the World Cup but I can't disclose any names at the moment. We do want Xavi and we have proposed a salary of eight million euros per season."

Agent Bayram Tutumlu, who was in Qatar recently representing former Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, had earlier confirmed to Marca that Xavi has received an offer from Al Arabi.

Tutumlu said the Spain international has been presented with a three-year deal and suggested that Xavi may even have accepted the terms.

"They assured me that he has received an offer to play for three seasons earning a net figure of 8.3 million euros for each one," he said. "I was even told that a contract had been signed, although I didn't actually see it."

Cesc Fabregas -- who joined Chelsea last week -- said his former Barcelona teammate was ready to move on to allow him to focus more on his family.

"Xavi and Puyol have decided to take a step aside, to be closer to their families, to get away from such demanding paths," he told Marca. "Victor [Valdes] and I took personal decisions."

While not mentioning a move to Al Arabi, Mundo Deportivo claims Xavi's agent Ivan Corretja has met with Barcelona to discuss his client's future.

The paper reports that the club held a friendly chat with Corretja, with Barca saying that they would support the player's decision -- either to leave the Camp Nou now, or to stay on and see out the final two years of his contract.

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