Sport Barcelona Transfer News: Andres Iniesta Reportedly Demanding Exit Payoff

Barcelona Transfer News: Andres Iniesta Reportedly Demanding Exit Payoff

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 14: Andres Iniesta of Barcelona in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC at Camp Nou on March 14, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is reportedly set to demand a payoff of £10.5 million before quitting Barcelona for the lucrative Chinese Super League this summer.

The 33-year-old’s decision has been relayed to team-mates in the Spanish national team by Barca centre-back Gerard Pique, per Diario Gol (h/t Charlie Malam of the Daily Express).

Iniesta’s desire to be paid off so handsomely is motivated by hurt feelings. The playmaker resents how star forwards Lionel Messi and Luis Suarezpushed so hard for the Camp Nou club to sign Philippe Coutinho during the January transfer window, according to Diario Gol.

In response, Iniesta now wants a goodbye fee greater than the £8.7 million Xavi Hernandez received before calling time on his Barca career in 2015, per Malam.

Coutinho’s arrival in a deal worth £142 million looks likely to accelerate the end of Iniesta’s stint with the Blaugrana. The former is a natural replacement for the veteran, who has been the creative hub of Barca for well over a decade.

Yet Coutinho has only made a steady start to life at the Camp Nou, bagging three goals and an assist in La Liga and Copa del Rey action. By contrast, Iniesta’s value is still clear, with the classy No. 8 chipping in with two goals and three assists.

One of those assists involved Iniesta teeing up Messi to score a vital away goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League last 16. Messi’s goal gave Barca a 1-1 draw in west London back in February, putting the Blaugrana in charge of a tie they eventually won 4-1 on aggregate.

Iniesta’s contribution offered a reminder of his enduring value. He’s still a star for both club and country, creating a goal for Rodrigo to help Spain earn a 1-1 draw against Germany in an international friendly in Dusseldorf on Friday.Goal’s Ben Hayward noted how both Spain and Barca will find it hard to replace Iniesta and detailed how the player, who only signed a “lifetime” deal with Barcelona in 2017, could still move to China, despite manager Ernesto Valverde wanting him to stay.

Rumours linking Iniesta to the Chinese Super League have been prevalent recently, with Rik Sharma of Reuters (h/t the Daily Mail) naming Tianjin Quanjian as a possible suitor.

If Iniesta does move on this summer, few would begrudge him a golden handshake worth more than £10 million. His decorated career has seen him win multiple La Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey titles with Barcelona, as well as scoring the winner in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final and earning two European Championships with Spain.

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