LNTUP

Iniesta rejects claims by Bartomeu of him signing a contract extension with Barcelona

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Andres Iniesta has refuted claims made by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu that a new agreement between the two sides has been reached, heaping more pressure on under-fire Josep Bartomeu.

The club president has had a vote of no confidence put to him, with opponents trying to force an election. In a bid to fight for his job, Bartomeu has claimed in the last few days that both Lionel Messi and Iniesta are poised to commit their futures to Barcelona.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Bartomeu claimed that a new contract with the Spanish midfielder, whose deal expires after this season, had been agreed to in principle and they hoped to have it signed in the next few weeks.

When asked about Iniesta’s future by Mundo Deportivo, Bartomeu said:

“We already have a principle of agreement to renew and we hope to finalise it in the coming weeks. We are waiting these days to continue talking but Iniesta is a player that we want to retire here, and to retire when he thinks he wants to retire. The idea is to have an indefinite contract where he automatically renews from year to year until he thinks he can retire or change.”

However, Iniesta, returning from international duty with Spain, responded to reporters at a Barcelona airport with a blunt “no” when asked whether a new deal had been agreed upon.

The 33-year-old, who has been with Barcelona since he was 12, only has one year left on his current contract and a new deal has not been agreed.

Earlier, reports emerged that Barca’s hierarchy had considered cashing in on Iniesta before new boss Ernesto Valverde shut down the idea. Valverde made it clear that he wanted to keep the midfielder at Camp Nou for next season.

The 33-year-old Iniesta has been linked to an exit from Barcelona since the end of last season, with talk of a move to Serie A rumoured.