United Shot down again- Cunning Catalan nears Barca agreement

Last updated : 18 November 2013 By Denzel

andres iniestaBarcelona and Andres Iniesta announced a few months back that they are close to reaching an agreement on a new deal. The current deal runs out in the summer of 2015, and Barcelona's recent experience with Victor Valdes has induced a slight panic amongst the Catalan club as the negotiations drag. Iniesta has consistently stated that he would like to stay at Barcelona, but rumours linking him with a move abroad have emerged.

He has been mostly linked with Manchester United, who are in the market for a creative midfielder. They came in with several offers for Iniesta's teammate Cesc Fabregas in the summer. United or any other club will not be able to land Iniesta according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague. Balague is one of the highly respected journalists in Spain and he is well-connected with a lot of players.

He has said in his column on Sky Sports that wages and the player's importance within the club are dragging the negotiations. He said:

"The fact is they are very close and the delay was down to a series of things, including the arrival of Neymar who is earning, despite what anyone is saying, 15million euros net.

"Messi will renew his contract soon and Iniesta will want to earn as much as him. But it is not solely a financial delay - Iniesta wants confirmation of his hierarchy at the club."

After coming through the ranks at Barcelona, Iniesta came to prominence after the appointment of Pep Guardiola. Along with Xavi, his presence in midfield is crucial to Barcelona's play. He is as important in midfield as Messi is up front.

At 29 years of age, this would be his last big contract and it is clear that he wants to get the best deal possible. Iniesta is certainly not among the biggest players in Europe, but if there is one crafty midfielder, who will find no issues in adapting to the Premier League, it is Iniesta. His pace, speed, and ability to retain the ball even under extreme pressure would make him a great signing for United, but it appears that he may not be coming after all.

Read more at http://swol.co/guillem-balague-says-manchester-united-target-andres-iniesta-is-staying-at-barcelona/31427#mti7bl4ceHWyoO70.99