Doha, Mar 29: Qatari side Al Sadd released a statement on Saturday denying that a deal had been concluded to sign Barcelona and Spain great Xavi Hernandez.
In a statement on their website, Al Sadd said the deal was "still under negotiation", adding that "the FC Barcelona player is currently in Doha with his family to know more about the country he would live in if he were to decide to join the club."
Al Sadd also said they "would make any further and official announcements only if further developments take place".
Their statement came after pictures posted on social media by Al Sadd first-team manager Abdullah Al-Berik claimed that the 35-year-old 2010 World Cup winner had signed for what is one of Qatar's top sides.
"Al Sadd have just managed to sign Barcelona captain Xavi and this is a picture of him with sporting director Muhammed Ghoulam," Berik wrote on Instagram.
If the deal does go through, Xavi would be expected to move to Qatar after the end of this season, despite having a contract with Barcelona until June 2016.
The transfer would bring the curtain down on a 17-year first-team playing career with Barcelona, during which time Xavi has so far won seven La Liga championships, three Champions League titles and two FIFA Club World Cups.
He was also an integral part of Spain's World Cup-winning side in 2010 and their two European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012.
He has won more trophies -- 25 -- than any other Spanish footballer.
Xavi has spent his whole career at Barcelona, playing more than 700 games for the Catalan side since his debut in 1998.
Beyond mere figures, he will also be remembered as being a central figure of Barcelona's revolutionary 'tiki-taka' style of football, which relies on possession and passing, and helped the Catalan side to become arguably the dominant team in Europe in the first decade of the century.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that his club will not stand in the way of what would be a surprise move for the iconic playmaker.
"I will say what I did last summer, Xavi has earned the right to decide his future and he has a contract until the end of next season," said Bartomeu.
"If he decides to leave then he will have the full support of the board and I would imagine the supporters. He has the two options and he has the right to decide."
Xavi's signing would also be one of the biggest coups for Qatari domestic football in a country set to host the 2022 World Cup.
Al Sadd are currently second in the league, seven points behind Lekhwiya, the side coached by former Barcelona player and Danish international Michael Laudrup. AFP