English Premier League giants among European clubs trying to hijack Andres Iniesta’s move to China
Midfielder expected to announce signing for Chongqing Dangdai Lifan but former bosses hope to tempt him to stay closer to home
Barcelona’s World Cup-winning midfielder Andres Iniesta is widely expected to announce a move to the Chinese Super League in the coming days but ahead of the Spaniard revealing his next move several clubs are reportedly trying to hijack it.
The soon to be 34-year-old has been at Barcelona for two decades, winning 34 trophies, but this season will be his last for the Catalan club despite signing a “contract for life” last year.
While much of the speculation has centred on him moving to Chongqing Dangdai Lifan in the CSL, English tabloid The Sun reports that English Premier League sides Manchester City and Arsenal are trying to tempt Iniesta to stay in Europe for his next challenge.
France Football editor apologises to Andres Iniesta for never awarding him the Ballon d'Or
"For us, he wasn’t just a player, he was the player. His sacrifices for the team ultimately deprived him of greater individual recognition."
— FourFourTwo ⚽️ (@FourFourTwo) 25 April 2018
A move to City would see him reunite with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola while Arsenal, who are looking for a new manager after Arsene Wenger announced he will end his 22 years in charge this summer, have been linked with another of Iniesta’s former Barca bosses, Luis Enrique.
Neither side is likely to compete with the reported financial package on offer in China, which is said to include distribution rights for the Iniesta family’s wine brand.
One club who could match the potential windfall is Paris Saint-Germain, with The Guardian linking the French champions to a move for Iniesta.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) 25 April 2018
Iniesta is expected to announce his new club in the coming days, with rumours circulating that Chongqing Lifan may have an official statement by the end of the week.
Barcelona won the Copa del Rey last weekend and are soon to be crowned Primera Liga champions, a 35th career title, while Iniesta could sign off with another when Spain play in the World Cup in Russia this summer.