Chinese Super League club issue official statement on Andres Iniesta rumours

Chinese Super League club issue official statement on Andres Iniesta rumours

Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian have denied claims they are preparing a move for Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.

The 33-year-old Spanish midfielder signed a “lifetime contract” with Barcelona earlier this season but has since been linked with a move away, most recently to China.

Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo reported that Iniesta was subject to interest from Quanjian, who were said to be willing to pay the midfielder €35m annually, as well as buying a large number of bottles from his winery.

But the club have now issued a statement denying all rumours, warning those publishing such claims that they reserve the right to take legal action.

“Since March 6, 2018, several local media have quoted foreign reports that Spanish player Andres Iniesta is about to join our club,” a statement published by AFP read.

“We hereby solemnly announce that those reports are untrue. With regard to all the false stories about us, our club reserve the right to take legal action.”

New regulations introduced by the Chinese Football Association have curbed the spending of its sides, with a 100% tax implemented on purchases of overseas players.

Iniesta missed Barcelona’s win over Malaga on Saturday with a hamstring injury and is facing a race to be fit for his side’s Champions League clash with Chelsea on Wednesday.

The La Liga leaders hold a slight advantage in the tie, having scored a potentially vital away goal in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in February.

Iniesta still important in Barcelona

Still a big impact player for Barcelona this season, Iniesta has completed 88% of his passes in La Liga so far.

The Spaniard’s ability on the ball has allowed his fellow midfielders and Lionel Messi the freedom to move forward while he operates a deeper role controlling the game.

Despite registering just one assist in La Liga this season from 14 chances created, Iniesta has won 62% of his total duels – including 80% of his take-ons.

Iniesta was photographed in training this week and is, according to Marca, expected to return when Barcelona host Chelsea in midweek.