Andres Iniesta could still find himself playing in Europe next season, with the Barcelona veteran being eyed by Premier League duo Arsenal and Manchester City.
Spanish publication AS are claiming that Andres Iniesta has two more suitors apart from the Chinese Super League in the summer. The Spanish veteran is set to call it quits at Barcelona and while he had been tipped to join the Chinese Super League, Arsenal and Manchester City are aiming to bring the veteran over to England.
Andres Iniesta’s has been one of the most exhilarating and coveted footballing journeys in world football. Hailed as a prodigy in La Masia, the player truly mastered his skillset to rule over the world of football, both at club level and international level – with Barcelona and Spain, respectively.
Despite being handed a lifetime contract by Barcelona, Andres Iniesta is now set to call time on what has been a memorable career at Barcelona. The Spanish veteran has been tipped to go to the Chinese Super League after the end of the season. But, the entry of Arsenal and Manchester City could show him a different path.
At Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has already led his rebellion to the Premier League title in swashbuckling fashion. And while Iniesta, at 33, will only be a short-term addition to the team at Etihad, there is no doubt that his arrival will strengthen the creative impetus within the midfield.
Guardiola will also love to reunite with Iniesta, who could also become not just a leader figure at Manchester City but also act as a mentor to the other up-and-coming midfielders within the setup at Etihad.
Arsenal’s interest does not come as a surprise either. Arsene Wenger has announced that he will depart after the end of the 2017-18 campaign. The Gunners are tipped to be leading the race to sign Luis Enrique as the replacement for the Frenchman, and there are reports that the former Barcelona manager would love to bring the Spanish veteran over to Emirates.
Rumours indicate the new Arsenal manager will be made available a restricted transfer budget of £50 million to reinforce and imprint their own stamp on the squad. In such a scenario, Andres Iniesta, who will be arriving on a free transfer, will be the perfect player to reinforce the midfield with.
The 33-year-old will immediately uplift the squad while also acting as the natural replacement for Per Mertesacker as the new leader figure at Arsenal.
Both Arsenal and Manchester City will provide Iniesta with the opportunity of continuing to ply his trade at the highest level. But, Arsenal could be at a disadvantage as far as offering European football is concerned. Unless the Gunners manage to conquer the UEFA Europa League, they will not be able to offer Champions League football next campaign, which could tilt the balance in Manchester City’s favour.
Indeed, it would be a shame if European football were to lose a player of Andres Iniesta’s calibre to China, especially with Arsenal and Manchester City both offering alternate options to the Spanish veteran. It will be interesting to see what Iniesta chooses – the luxury of China or the challenge in England.