Barcelona sporting director talks about Andres Iniesta's future at the club
Will he leave or will he stay?
What’s the story?
Barcelona sporting director, Robert Fernandez believes Andres Iniesta will stay at Barcelona for several more years. The midfielder has his contract expiring in the summer of 2018 but is yet to agree on a new deal.
"We want Iniesta to continue with us for many years to come; I hope he will be with us for a long time. I have no doubt that he will. I have no doubt that it will be so." said the sporting director while talking to Movistar
Despite making no progress in contract talks, Fernandez is confident that the Spaniard will remain at the club. He wants the La Masia product to finish his career at Camp Nou.
In case you didn’t know...
Iniesta came through the Barcelona youth academy and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut at the age of 18 in 2002 but only began playing regularly during the 2004–05 season and has remained with the team ever since.
The Barcelona legend has won 32 trophies in his career, and that has made him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time. Most of his trophies have come at Barcelona with just 5 International prizes to his name.
He has won La Liga 8 times, the Champions League and Copa Del Rey 4 times each, and also the Supercopa de España 6 times. He was a vital part of the team that won the treble in 2009 and 2015.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona are busy finding a new manager and also resolving Lionel Messi's contract situation. In between all that, they seem to have forgotten the fact that Iniesta's contract also expires at the same time as Messi.
Luis Enrique revealed recently that the Spaniard is deciding his future and said that he wanted the midfielder to take a decision on his own and not get influenced by others. The manager also confirmed that the Spaniard is not in proper shape right now after his 2 injuries this season.
The board of directors have made it clear to Iniesta that they count on him and see him leading the academy project in future. They want him and Xavi back at the club and want them to be an integral part of it even after their playing days.
Iniesta's future is bound to be decided in the coming weeks. The midfielder is 32 and has to make a decision on how long he can continue at the top level.
The club are also looking to sign long-term replacements for him and next season might end up being his last one at Camp Nou. Marco Verratti and Philippe Coutinho have been linked with a move to replace the Spaniard at Camp Nou.
Though Iniesta is a top notch midfielder, it is time for him to reduce the burden on his shoulders and nurture the players around him to secure the future of the club.