Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta has deny Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and denied that there is an agreement in principle for him to extend his contract at the Camp Nou beyond its expiry at the end of the season.
In an interview with Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo on Tuesday, Bartomeu had claimed the club were almost in a position to announce a contract renewal for the midfielder.
However, arriving back at El Prat airport from Spain duty on Wednesday, the Spaniard told reporters “no” when asked if he could confirm that an agreement is in place.
Bartomeu had said: “We have an agreement in principle for Iniesta to renew [his contract] and we hope to finalise it in the coming weeks. 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.
“The idea is that he has an indefinite contract which renews year on year until he feels it’s either time to retire or time for a change. We would like to announce it soon, but we’re still talking.
“Andres is a player like Leo [Messi], a one-club man and a reference point due to his commitment and loyalty. They’re role models for the kids at La Masia and the new generation of players coming through.”
Iniesta, 33, suggested in August that, for the first time since he made his professional debut for Barca in 2002, he was carefully considering the next step in his career.
Out of contract in the summer of 2018, he said: “I’ve experienced a lot of sensations I’ve not known before, but I think they’re normal. It’s a scenario which three years ago I could never have imagined. Let’s say I’m thinking about my future when before I wasn’t.”
Andres Iniesta is widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Since 2009, he has been chosen in the UEFA Team of the Year six times and has been voted into the FIFA World XI on eight occasions.
He won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2012 and was named the IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker in 2012 and 2013. He was runner-up to Lionel Messi for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or and achieved third place in 2012.
*Player stat were according to Wikipedia