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Andrés Iniesta extends Barça contract until 2018

World Cup hero ends speculation over a possible winter transfer window move to the Premier League

Barcelona's midfielder Andrés Iniesta celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Granada CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on November 23, 2013.
Barcelona's midfielder Andrés Iniesta celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Granada CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on November 23, 2013. AFP

Andrés Iniesta on Thursday signed a contract extension with FC Barcelona that will in all likelihood keep him at the club he joined as a 12-year-old until he retires from the game. The Spain international’s new deal runs until 2018, when the midfielder will be 34. “We are very happy with Andrés’s renewal,” said club president Sandro Rosell. “For all culés it is a wonderful Christmas present.”

Iniesta’s contract situation had piqued the interest of several Premier League clubs, but now the World Cup-winner has pledged his future to Barcelona, the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City will have to look elsewhere for potentially eye-catching winter signings. “From 2018, the renewal will be year-by-year, depending on the number of minutes played and the performance level of the player,” Rosell said.

Rosell also spoke about Leo Messi’s contract situation: “I haven’t talked to Leo about it. The door to our office is always open. I am under no doubt whatsoever that Messi should be the best-paid player in the world, because he is the best player in the world.”

On the subject of Camp Nou, the Barcelona president said he believed a new stadium was important for the future of the club. “I think we have to build one, either here [on the current site] or in the university zone. It is fundamental to have a new stadium to generate income that we can’t at the moment. If we just give Camp Nou a lick of paint, we’ll fall behind other clubs in Europe.”