Image shows Andreas Iniesta in action.As confirmed by the player's agent Ramon Sostres, "representatives from China have been in contact with him in an attempt to lure the 32-year-old to the Far East."
The talented Barca midfielder said he is not moved by the huge amount offered. However, he reportedly told agent Sostres that his only aim is to continue plying his trade at Camp Nou and remain fit ahead of the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the name of the Chinese club has not been made public. The media reports an unnamed source at Barca as saying that “Iniesta is an icon and is not moving from here. He has a contract until 2018 and there is nothing to talk about with any club”.
Image: Barca’s Andreas Iniesta battles for ball possession with a PSG player.
It has been widely accepted that Chinese billionaires have taken sports finance by storm. The influence from these business moguls have stretched wide and far across the globe.
The list of top European footballers signed by Chinese clubs are too numerous to mention. In the biggest transfers: Jiangsu Suning paid Shakhtar Donetsk €50m for Alex Teixeira and Chelsea €28m for Ramires, while Atletico Madrid sold Jackson Martinez to Guangzhou Evergrande for €42m.
Among the popular names above, clubs in China have acquired services from players like Freddy Guarin, who went from Inter to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua for €13m, and Gervinho, who left Roma to sign for Hebei China Fortune after they invested €18m in the Ivory Coast international.
Amid rumors that Wayne Rooney, Diego Costa and John Terry could be on their way to the Chinese football league soonest, it is believed that Iniesta will not be tempted by money to leave Barcelona in the next two years.
Image: Andreas Iniesta in a wedding photo with wife.
There are speculations that when the Barca legend’s current agreement expires, he will be receiving better offers from MLS, Dubai and Qatar just like his former teammate Xavi Hernandez.
Notwithstanding, there’re always surprises in football decisions especially with ageing players. One cannot rule out any possibility of Iniesta playing in China if the price speaks louder than other voices.