The 34-year-old has told friends he is ready to leave Camp Nou this summer and move to the Middle East. The player’s agent, Ivan Corretja, met with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta last week to communicate his client’s desire to leave.
Having been an automatic starter for the club since making his debut in 1998, Xavi was not always included in the 11 by former Barca boss Gerardo Martino last season. Most notably, he was dropped for the final-day clash against Atletico Madrid when a victory would have handed Barca the league title.PHOTOS: Beautiful people in Brazil | Brazil protests | Soccer fanatics | Fan tattoos
Corretja has already agreed to a deal with the Qatari government, which has close links with Barcelona, and is keen to promote the game in the region.
The identity of the club Xavi will play for has yet to be revealed, but Goal understands it is Al-Arabi. Al-Arabi coach Dan Petrescu already claimed earlier this week that the team was closing in on the Spain international’s signature.
Speaking to Digisport, Petrescu said: "It’s likely he will join us but he also has other offers. When you get the chance to sign someone like Xavi, you make the most of the opportunity. I’ve talked to him personally and he is an extraordinary man. If we miss out on him, we have other big names lined up. But Xavi is who I really want.”
Xavi's departure will continue a massive reshaping of the Barcelona squad this summer under new boss Luis Enrique. Carlos Puyol has retired, Victor Valdes has bid farewell after 12 years and Cesc Fabregas has joined Chelsea for 36 million euros.