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.
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.
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.”