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STAYING PUT

Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta agrees new contract after he openly considered leaving the club

Iconic midfielder is yet to officially put pen to paper on new contract but president Josep Maria Bartomeu says agreement has been reached

Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has agreed a new contract – after he openly considered leaving the club.

Nou Camp president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the iconic midfielder has reached an agreement in principle.

Andres Iniesta is set to remain a Barcelona player

Rex Features
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Andres Iniesta is set to remain a Barcelona player

The Spain midfielder’s career at the Nou Camp has been legendary

EPA
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The Spain midfielder’s career at the Nou Camp has been legendary

Asked about Iniesta’s future, Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo: “We already have an agreement in principle to renew [his contract] and we hope to finalise it in the coming weeks.

“We are waiting these days to keep talking but Iniesta is a player that we want [to see] retire here and that he retires when he thinks he wants to retire.

“The idea is that he has an indefinite contract where it renews automatically every year until he thinks that he can retire or change.

“In the end, Andres is a player like Leo [Messi] of one club and known for their commitment and fidelity.

“They are an example for the boys of La Masia and for the new generations.”

Iniesta, 33, is out of contract in June and Juventus were looking to snap him up on a free.

Andres Iniesta looks set to stay at the club he has played for all his life

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Andres Iniesta looks set to stay at the club he has played for all his life

The World Cup and Euros winner had previously questioned his place at the club

AP:Associated Press
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The World Cup and Euros winner had previously questioned his place at the club

Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident Andres Iniesta will extend his Nou Camp deal

Reuters
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Josep Maria Bartomeu is confident Andres Iniesta will extend his Nou Camp deal

What once looked a seriously unlikely move became plausible when Iniesta recently admitted he was thinking of leaving Barcelona for the first time in his storied career.

He said last month: “I have felt many strange feelings for the first time, but I think this may be normal.

“It is a situation I could never have imagined three years ago.

“Basically, I’m considering my future, which is something I would never have done before.”

Messi has also been offered a new deal with a £276million release clause.

But, like Iniesta, he is yet to officially sign the paperwork.

Bartomeu shone some light on the reason for the delay and said it was mostly down to scheduling.

Speaking of the Messi case in particular – though such instances could also be applied to Iniesta – he said: “There are no problems. It’s just the protocol of the signature. We’re relaxed. We’ve had schedule problems. We will find the right moment.”