Barcelona, June 9: Barcelona’s board were open to the idea of selling their club captain Andres Iniesta this summer, according to reports in Spain.
The 33-year-old midfield maestro, who has been with Barcelona since he was 12, has only one year left on his current contract and a new deal has not been agreed.
According to Cadena SER, Barca’s hierarchy had considered cashing in on Iniesta before new boss Ernesto Valverde dismissed the idea. Last week, Valverde made it clear that he wanted to keep the midfielder at Camp Nou for next season.
“I consider Andres to be a very important player for the team and for the club,” he said.
But before Valverde’s arrival, Iniesta indicated a new contract with Barcelona was far far from a certainty.
“My intention is, at least, to finish the contract that I have and that’s what I want to do,’ the midfielder told RAC1 at the end of May.
“Beyond that, there are always possibilities. It’s a question of assessing everything. I am not saying if I am going to renew or not.
“I’ve reached this situation conditioned by how the season has gone, how things have moved and I have learned to assess things.
“I already said a few weeks ago that the moment I have to leave, it will not end in confrontation between Iniesta and the club. We will always look for what is best for everyone.”
It was visible that Iniesta shares a cold relation with the Barcelona board during the Copa del Rey celebrations as the midfielder was seen turning his back on Josep Maria Bartomeu when the Barca president was speaking to him.
Bartomeu’s leadership had already been heavily criticised by former Barcelona defender Dani Alves, who was allowed to leave Barcelona on a free transfer to Juventus last summer.
“The people who run Barcelona have no idea how to treat their players,’ the Brazilian said earlier this season.
“During my last three seasons I always heard that Alves was leaving but the management never said anything to me.
“They were very false and ungrateful. They did not respect me. They only offered me a renewal because of the FIFA transfer ban.”
Meanwhile, Italian media claims that Juventus are preparing a mega-deal to lure Iniesta away from Camp Nou just like they did with Dani Alves last year. It will be a difficult moment for the Barcelona fans if the magical midfielder does leave the club.