Thursday, November 23, 2017

No deal – Iniesta rejects Bartomeu´s Barcelona extension talk

SoccerNews in La Liga 6 Sep 2017

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Andres Iniesta has denied having an agreement in place to extend his Barcelona contract beyond the end of the current season.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo that the club had an “agreement in principle” to renew with Iniesta, 33, that would be finalised over the coming weeks.

But when asked on his return from international duty with Spain at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on Wednesday if he had agreed a new contract at Camp Nou, Iniesta simply told reporters: “No.”

The episode with club great Iniesta is the latest suggestion of dissatisfaction within the Barcelona ranks with operations at boardroom level.

The fallout from Neymar’s world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain at the start of last month has not reflected well up on those in power at Barcelona and the superstar forward labelled Bartomeu “a joke” in an Instragram post on Tuesday.

Defender Gerard Pique insisted the squad were not angry with the board over the transfer after Neymar tweeted a picture of the pair together at a party last month, hours after Barca announced they would take legal action against the Brazil international over an alleged breach of contract.

Nevertheless, in the aftermath of the 5-1 aggregate loss to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana loss to Real Madrid, Pique conceded Barcelona were “not in the best moment as a team or a club”.

Dani Alves is now playing alongside compatriot Neymar at PSG and was similarly critical of the Bartomeu regime having left to play for Juventus last season.

“Those who run Barcelona today have no idea how to treat their players,” Alves told ABC in February.

Iniesta progressed through Barcelona’s celebrated La Masia academy and has won 20 major honours over a career-long association with the club.

“Andres is a player like Leo [Messi], a single club [player] and a benchmark for his commitment and loyalty,” Bartomeu told Mundo.

“They are a mirror for the boys at La Masia and for the new generations.”

Barcelona host Espanyol in the Catalan derby in LaLiga on Saturday.

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