Confusion Reigns Over New Iniesta Deal as Barca Star Contradicts President's Claims
Andres Iniesta has contradicted claims made by Barcelona that he has agreed in prinicple to sign a new contract with the Catalan giants.
Reports on Wednesday morning suggested that the veteran midfield maestro was on the verge of committing his future to the club after shaking hands on the terms of a new deal.
However, Marca has now reported that Iniesta has disputed those rumours in a brief statement to the press following his return from international duty with Spain.
Asked by reporters, after his plane had landed in Catalunya, if he could confirm that an agreement was in place with La Blaugrana, the 33-year-old merely stated: "No."
That one-word response comes in the wake of Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu stating that the playmaker was set to be tied down to a new contract with the Copa del Rey holders.
In a seperate interview with Mundo Deportivo, Bartomeu was quizzed over Iniesta potentially ending his long association with Barcelona when his current deal expires next summer.
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The 54-year-old said: "We already have a principle in agreement to renew his contract and we hope to finalize it in the coming weeks.
"We are waiting these days to continue talking but Iniesta is a player that we want him to retire here and to retire when he thinks he wants to retire."
Speculating further on the length of Iniesta's supposed new deal, Bartomeu went on to clarify what the exact terms were - according to him at least - ahead of Iniesta's own comments later that day.
Bartomeu added: "The idea is to have an indefinite contract where he automatically renews from year to year until he thinks he can retire or change."
Iniesta has racked up an impressive 626 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona's senior side since he broke into the team at the start of the 2002/03 campaign, and has lifted a remarkable 27 titles in his 15-year professional career.