Atletico Madrid captain Gabi travelled to Qatar on Monday ahead of his proposed moved to Al Sadd where he is set to join forces with former La Liga adversary and Barcelona legend Xavi, who himself has recently signed a new two-year contract with the Gulf club.
Al Sadd publicly welcomed the Europa League winning captain on Twitter after he touched down at Doha airport having been given permission from Atletico to negotiate his exit.
It has been reported in recent days that Gabi will sign a three-year contract that Al Sadd, who finished second in the Qatari Stars League in 2017/18, that will earn him around €19m over the course of the deal – around €6.3m per season.
The 34-year-old’s trip to Qatar to finalise his move was only brief as Atletico have confirmed that he has already returned to Spain, with a farewell press conference to be held in the auditorium of the club’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Tuesday.
The transfer to Al Sadd brings to an end Madrid-born Gabi’s second spell at Atletico.
He had initially risen through the club’s youth ranks, becoming a first team regular in 2005 before a move to Real Zaragoza two years later. The player subsequently returned to Atletico in 2011 and won the Copa del Rey in his second season back and La Liga in his third.
Gabi additionally captained Atletico in Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016, putting in a heroic performance in the former and coming within seconds of being able to lift the club’s first ever European Cup title. He lifted the Europa League as skipper just a few weeks ago.