Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen have urged club legend Andres Iniesta to stay at the club after Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.
The Spaniard’s future at Barcelona came under question last year with his previous contract at the Camp Nou due to end at the end of current season. However, Iniesta recently signed a lifetime contract, which reportedly contains a €200 Million release clause in it.
Iniesta is currently enjoying an impressive season under Ernesto Valverde, but in recent days Spanish publications have reopened the transfer saga after reporting that clubs playing in Chinese Super League are ready to offer Iniesta a whopping sum to lure him away from the Camp Nou.
The Spaniard has been at Barcelona since the beginning of his career and is said to have turned down wages of £600,000 a week to join the Chinese club prior to signing a new deal at Camp Nou in October. But the Chinese Super League teams will reportedly make another move for the Spaniard.
Iniesta recently signed a lifetime contract, which reportedly contains a €200 Million release clause in it. But according to reports, that doesn’t make Chinese Super League side to resign from the hopes of the getting the player.
With a move to China on cards, Iniesta revealed on Wednesday that he will make up his mind over what would be the first transfer move of his career before the end of next month. In an interview, when quizzed about his future, Iniesta said: “There are two choices, stay or go. Before April 30, I will make the decision.”
Iniesta has four astronomical offers from China and is very close to accepting one of them. [md] pic.twitter.com/IixAOclGw3
— Barca Centre (@barcacentre) March 15, 2018
On Sunday when Iniesta came on in the second half of the game, Camp Nou crowd made their feelings known as they chanted for the midfielder to stay. The midfield maestro has accepted that he has an offer from China and he’ll make a decision upon it next month, but Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde is in no mood of losing his star player.
Speaking after the game yesterday, Valverde said: “At the moment all we can do is wait and see what he decides. So far he has not made a choice in any way. You cannot put the bandage on before the injury. We know what he brings and we would all like to have Iniesta forever.”
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen also said that he’s hopeful that Iniesta will stay back and that the players will give him all the support he needs while he makes his decision over his future.
Ter Stegen said: “It’s a personal decision but everyone hopes he will stay at Barca because he’s a great person. We know we need to keep going as team until the end and we need him now and in the years to come. We’re focused on the present and he will take his decision when he has to.”
“I hope he stays but he’s the only one that knows. We know what a great person he is, how important he is to the club and we have to try and keep him here. It’s a personal decision. We’re going to support him and of course, we want our captain [here].”
It is said that the Spaniard is described as a ‘crowd-pleaser’ in China, having been welcomed to Chongqing, a town in China with 30 Million inhabitants. Until recently it seemed impossible to believe that Iniesta could leave Camp Nou but now there is a possibility that he could end his career as a two-club man is there.
I personally don’t feel that Iniesta is ever gonna move to China. I feel that Iniesta still has a still has a plenty in his tank to give Barcelona before he heads off to play in a sub-standard league in the twilight of his career.
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