Barcelona transfer rumour: Andres Iniesta turns down €35 million a season offer from China
What’s the story?
Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has turned down two offers from the Chinese Super League, one of which is a mouth watering €35 million per season after tax deductions. The contract also had a host of other perks, such as being excused from playing away games. The Barcelona legend, however, rejected the offers from the Chinese League according to reports from Spanish outlet AS.
The talismanic midfielder has not responded to Barcelona’s offer of a two-year contract.
The Spaniard, however, insisted that he will only leave the club if he is no longer wanted, saying, “Anyone can guess but I have been clear about this, my renewal. Now the only thing I am worried about is our title aims. After the season we will review everything, both personal and the club's side, and that's it.”
He further added, “I am not saying I won't renew my contract. I want to finish my career here but that will be decided by my performances on the pitch and my feelings. I won't stay here if I am not important for the club. That's clear.”
In case you didn’t know...
Contract negotiations between Barcelona and Iniesta have come to a standstill, with the Spaniard having refused the two-year deal offered by the club. Reports suggest that Iniesta who is represented by former teammate Carles Puyol and business partner Ramón Sostres were not convinced by the club’s first offer and the financial aspects were not overly enticing for them.
The heart of the story
Over the last year there have been many players who have made the switch to China, becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of money the league/clubs offer them. From the likes of Carlos Tevez to Oscar, each transfer made headlines.
However, the financial muscles of the Chinese were unable to persuade the midfielder. However, the Spaniard is yet to find any common ground with Barcelona but his refusal to renew isn't because of a financial aspect but the 32-year-old is more concerned about his status at the club. However, if the midfielder has already hinted that his future is in the air and stressed that if he does stay at the club, it's to be a protagonist and nothing else.
Since the start of the season, Iniesta has played less than 40% of the Barcelona’s minutes and despite three injuries, he still is a highly regarded player in the eyes of Luis Enrique, his coach, but his role tends to wane. This has led the team looking elsewhere for leadership and thus the Spaniard also feels that his influence on the squad may be reducing, as his playtime reduces.
Iniesta will be 33 in May and any new deal might be his last big pay day. However, with Luis Enrique moving on from the Camp Nou next season, the Spain international would do well to know what’s in store for him under the new boss. Barcelona on the other hand, will not want to offer a major deal to an ageing player, especially when they are desperately trying to lighten their financial belts to offer Lionel Messi a mega new deal.
Although until recently it would have been impossible to believe that Iniesta may ever leave the Camp Nou, but the possibility that he could soon become a two-club man is very likely. There is a precedent, with Xavi leaving just before the 2014-2015 season for Qatar after he saw his playing time get drastically reduced after Enrique opted to hand Ivan Rakitic more playing time.
However for Iniesta on the other hand who wants to represent Spain at the 2018 World Cup, moving to the Chinese League may not be the best option.