Andres Iniesta has contradicted Josep Maria Bartomeu’s claim that he is set to extend his contract with Barcelona.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Andres Iniesta has denied that there is an agreement in place to tie him down to a new contract with Barcelona. The denial comes in the wake of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s claim that the Spaniard’s renewal would be finalised in the coming weeks.
Andres Iniesta has had a career-long association with Barcelona, having progressed through the ranks at their fabled La Masia academy upon joining it as a 12-year-old before breaking into the first-team setup in 2002.
Since then, the veteran midfielder has established himself as one of the most instrumental figures, not just for the Catalan club, but also for Spain. In fact, Iniesta has gone on to enjoy one of the most illustrious careers of all time, winning every trophy at the club and international levels while amassing over 700 appearances.
However, after being such a revered figure at Barcelona for well over a decade, there is growing uncertainty surrounding his future at the club. Last month, the 33-year-old admitted that he is seriously considering the next step of his career for the first time since making his debut for Barcelona.
Bartomeu: “We’ve reached a contract-agreement with Iniesta”
Iniesta: “No, we haven’t” pic.twitter.com/6FAVWGYjbA
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However, in a recent interview, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu had suggested that there is an agreement in principle to renew terms with Iniesta, and that an official announcement would be made in the coming weeks.
“We have an agreement in principle for Iniesta to renew [his contract] and we hope to finalise it in the coming weeks,” Bartomeu had said. “We’re waiting to continue talking, but Iniesta is a player we want to retire here when he feels it’s the right time to retire.”
But, the Barcelona president’s claims have now been denied by Iniesta. The player, arriving back at El Prat airport from Spain duty on Wednesday, was asked if he could confirm that an agreement was indeed in place.
However, upon being prodded repeatedly, all Iniesta said was “No” – there is no agreement in place. But, the report further claims that the player does not intend to leave Barcelona, and his agents are working on negotiations to reach an agreement in due course.
Therefore, even as the likes of Juventus and Manchester City remain interested in signing him in a shock move next summer, Iniesta wishes to remain with Barcelona, although there are still a few aspects left to be resolved before he signs a renewal at Camp Nou.