Barcelona Transfer News: Xavi-Qatar Move Imminent Claims Agent Bayram Tutumlu

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14:  Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona looks on  during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou on September 14, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Qatar may be on the verge of taking another big step on its journey toward football relevancy as the Middle Eastern country is reportedly close to securing one of Spain's top players.

According to Luis F. Rojo of Marca, football agent Bayram Tutumlu claims that Qatari football figures told him a deal was in place to sign FC Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez.

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

Tutumlu also revealed who was involved with brokering the potential deal.

"The deal has been done by (agent) Pini Zahavi and a company called Sport One Middle East, which boasts Abdallah Lemsagam as one of its agents. Although (former Barcelona president) Joan Laporta and (former Barcelona director) Alejandro Echevarria are also involved," Tutumlu said.

Despite Tutumlu's claim, Echevarria denied any type of involvement, per Rojo.

This news comes on the heels of Cesc Fabregas leaving Barcelona for Chelsea. Xavi was outspoken regarding the situation as he wished his former teammate all the best in the English Premier League, according to Sid Lowe of The Guardian.

Xavi said:

It’s a great opportunity to go to a great team and that was his idea. He may be more relaxed now that he knows his future. It's a big loss for us, but he decided. As a good friend of his, I wish him the very best and all the luck in the world.

As it turns out, Xavi could very well be the next one out the door. While it is easy to see why such a lucrative contract might appeal to Xavi, the level of competition in Qatar will be lacking. Xavi is getting up there in age at 34, but football journalist Rafael Hernandez believes he is still capable of playing in top leagues:

If Qatar is able to land Xavi, then it will be a major coup in terms of the country's football legitimacy. Qatar is currently scheduled to host the 2022 World Cup, although there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding its winning bid.

Acquiring Xavi won't make bribery accusations go away, but it would definitely be a sign to the rest of the world that Qatar is serious about its commitment to football.

A superstar like Xavi going to Qatar would be a landmark moment in football, and it could very well change the course of the game moving forward. Xavi would be the first big name to make the move to Qatar, but it is possible that others will follow if Xavi ultimately decides to take a leap of faith.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter


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