What’s the story?
Andres Iniesta could be one his way out of Barcelona – to join Serie A giants Inter Milan, according to a report in Italian news outlet, La Gazetta dello Sport. In addition, the Nerazzurri also inquired about the availability of Barca fullback, Aleix Vidal, with a view to signing the pair in one transfer window alone, with the Barcelona board reportedly willing to hold out for a larger fee.
The very definition of a legend, Andres Iniesta has been with Barcelona since the age of 12, winning everything there is to win with the Catalan club. However, the 33-year-old’s future has been the subject of speculation throughout this season, especially since he has a contract that only runs up to 2018, and has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.
The heart of the matter
With Iniesta in the last year of his contract, he can move for free next summer. Barcelona’s board were apparently keen on cashing in on the Spanish legend this summer, but Ernesto Valverde reportedly blocked that move with a view to incorporate Iniesta deeply into his plans.
However, Iniesta had an injury cutailed season in La Liga, making only 23 appearances. In addition, Valverde has also green-lit the move to bring back Gerard Deulofeu and move Lionel Messi into midfield, in Iniesta’s position, further reducing the playing time available to the Barcelona legend next year.
According to the report, Inter Milan’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio met with Barca director Ariedo Braida to note that the Nerazzuri were willing to part with a significant fee for Iniesta and Aleix Vidal, a situation that might tempt Barcelona’s board into overturning their manager’s decision.
Inter Milan are solely in need of a creative player, a situation that Barcelona could use to hold out for a large transfer fee. Iniesta himself may be able to command higher wages from the Suning-backed Inter Milan and for a longer spell than the one-year extension Barca have reportedly offered. The chance to experience another country and another league might tempt Iniesta into considering this offer, as he surely faces reduced playing time for the Blaugrana this season.Published 20 Jun 2017, 18:53 IST