In a move that will ignite interest amongst Europe’s elite clubs, Andres Iniesta has turned down a new contract according to the Daily Mail.
The Spain international is reportedly said to be unhappy at the new terms offered to him by Barcelona.
Amongst the clubs who would be in line for his signature would no doubt be rivals Manchester City and Manchester United.
City already have ties to Iniesta through Txiki Begiristain and their CEO Ferran Soriano, who both spent time with the Spaniard at Barcelona.
United’s well-publicised pursuit of Cesc Fabregas indicates the Scotsman’s desire to bring a world-class playmaker to the club, and, at 29, Iniesta could be a lot more affordable than Fabregas.
Despite Iniesta’s stall over contract negotiations, Barcelona remain confident of an agreement with the player. With just one season left to run on his current deal after this campaign, Iniesta could leave on a free if Barcelona do not move to resolve this dispute hastily.
Some believe Barcelona are on the decline, and despite the ambitious signing on Brazilian sensation Neymar, losing a player such as Iniesta - who has become so synonymous to the Catalan club’s style of play - would surely indicate that Barcelona’s golden era is beginning to end.
Although at almost 30 Iniesta isn’t young, he’s still one of the greatest passers of the ball in the world, and a move to Premier League could do the competition’s image wonders.
The Premier League has slowly been failing to attract world-class names from top European clubs over the last few years, with Arsenal’s deadline day signing of Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil a major exception.
Maybe Iniesta himself will feel it’s time for a new challenge; the Spaniard has won every major honour possible with Barcelona.
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