The Blaugrana veteran is set to leave Catalonia in the summer, and reports have now emerged that Japan is likely to be his next destination
Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta was set to join Chinese side Chongqing Lifang having announced his departure from the Catalan side after 16 years. But out of the blue, it has now emerged that the 34-year old is on his way to Japan instead, where club Vissel Kobe have reached an agreement with him.
Sources confirmed the news recently and revealed that Iniesta has signed a three-year deal with an annual salary of $30 million.
Just hours earlier, Chinese outfit Lifang confirmed through their official website that the Catalan won’t be joining on the grounds of financial concerns. Chongqing Lifang president Jiang Lizhang said, “Mr. Iniesta is in deep partnership with sports industrial sectors under our club’s shareholding company, including sports agency, marketing and sales, and youth training. We won’t rule out the possibility of deepening future cooperation in the Chinese market, but by no means it indicates that Mr. Iniesta will join our club as a player.”
Iniesta’s announcement of an exit was soon followed with speculations for joining the Chinese side, while there were also rumors of interests from Australia’s A-League. But it appears that Vissel Kobe has ultimately landed the Barcelona legend, where another well-known name Lukas Podolski plies his trade currently.
Even if sources have confirmed, an official announcement is yet to be made. Iniesta hasn’t affirmed anything of late but may be by the end of the weekend, the player comes out and clears the air himself about his future commitments.