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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 25 October 2020

Iniesta: 'I would reject Pep to finish my career at Barcelona'

The mercurial midfielder’s contract at Camp Nou expires in 2018 and he is hoping to agree an extension.

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.

ANDRES INIESTA INSISTS that even Pep Guardiola couldn’t persuade him to leave Barcelona, as long as the club offers him a new deal.

The 32-year-old’s contract expires in June 2018 and he is hoping to sign an extension that would see him finish his playing career at the club.

“I think Guardiola already knows what I think and what I want, my wish is to finish my career in Barcelona,” Iniesta told Cadena COPE.

“I would pick up the phone because he was my coach and is my friend, I learnt a lot under Pep but now Luis Enrique is the best manager for me because he is our coach.”

But Iniesta has admitted he does not know whether Barcelona will allow him to retire at Camp Nou.

Barcelona have yet to open talks with the mercurial midfielder and he has acknowledged it is out of his hands whether he will hang up his boots at the Spanish champions.

“I would love to end my career at Barcelona,” Iniesta added.

“I have a contract until 2018. We will have to ask the direction whether they want to extend my contract.

“But I can only repeat that I want to retire at Barcelona.”

Iniesta came through the ranks of the Barcelona youth academy and has made close to 600 appearances in all competitions for the Catalans since making his official debut in 2002-03.

He has won eight La Liga titles during his time at Camp Nou, while also lifting the Champions League on four occasions.

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