By 90Min
May 03, 2018

Details have emerged about the incredible lengths Chinese Super League club Chongqing Dangdai Lifan are willing to go to sign departing Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta.

Iniesta has confirmed he will be leaving Barcelona at the end of the season after 22 years at the club and China has been the hotly tipped next destination for the 33-year-old. 

Now Spanish newspaper El Mundo has revealed the astronomical figures behind this proposed move. While Chongqing could make Iniesta one of top three highest earners in world football, what stands out in the proposed deal is a bizarre yet huge investment into the player's wine business.

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Since 2010, Iniesta has been the owner of Bodega Iniesta - a vineyard and winery located in the small Spanish region of Fuentealbilla. As part of their bid to sign Iniesta, Chongqing aim to promote Bodega Iniesta wines in the Chinese market.

The proposed deal includes an obligation to purchase six million bottles of wine from Iniesta's business. At €6 a bottle, that would mean the midfielder would earn a whopping €36m.

And that is not even nearly half of what Iniesta to stands to make. According to the report, Chongqing Dangdai Lifan would be willing to offer Iniesta a three-year-deal at a rate of €27m-a-year. That would give Iniesta a tax-free total of €81m by the end of the contract.

Chongqing would also be willing to give the player 50 percent of his image rights, which would see Iniesta's earnings continue to rise throughout his stay in China. 


The man behind all this money who is desperate to bring Iniesta to Chongqing Dangdai Lifan is Chinese businessman Jiang Lizhang. Since January 2017, Lizhang has been the 90 percent owner of Chongqing, but already the businessman has his fingers in many sports-shaped pies.

Lizhang is also the owner of La Liga club CF Granada, at 60 percent shareholder in Serie B side Parma and part-owner of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. His latest football venture involves the proposed takeover of Belgian side OH Leuven. 

El Mundo report that despite all the money being thrown at Iniesta, he still has serious doubts about making the move to the Chinese Super League. The Spaniard also has another proposal from a different Chinese to club to consider, as well as the possibility of reuniting with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.


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