Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin Quanjian have reportedly denied the signing of Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, following rumours that the veteran midfielder is set to leave the Nou Camp in favour of the financial haven of China.
These are the first rumours to erupt in recent years. The build up to last summer saw Iniesta consistently linked with a trip to Asia, as his glittering career draws to an eventual close. However, that rumour was soon quashed, and the Spaniard signed a new contract with the Blaugrana back in October.
But that hasn't stopped the cycle from starting again only five months later. According to Marca, Tianjin Quanjian club president Shu Yuhui has released a statement regarding the matter, announcing it as false information. The statement was released along with the addressing of an incident relating to locker room trouble.
These rumours may well have emerged as a result of Barcelona's recent signing of Gremio centre midfielder Arthur. The Brazilian is set to move to Catalonia in 2019 for a fee believed to be worth around €30m.
This would surely spell the end for Iniesta's time at Barca. By that point he will be 35-years-old, and well on the way to retirement. While the Chinese outfit may have claimed that nothing is happening with regards to his signing, this doesn't necessarily mean nothing will happen.
With a few months still left to play of the season, Iniesta has plenty of time to ponder his future, and as game time looks to be in decline at the Nou Camp, he may choose another destination.