Sunday, March 4, 2018

Man City transfer news: Andres Iniesta targeted by former boss Pep Guardiola as he nears retirement

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Man City transfer news: Andres Iniesta targeted by former boss Pep Guardiola as he nears retirement

PEP GUARDIOLA wants Andres Iniesta to join his Etihad revolution, according to reports.

The Barcelona superstar, 33, signed a “lifetime contract” with the La Liga giants in October.

Pep Guardiola wants to reunite with Andres Iniesta at Manchester CityPep Guardiola wants to reunite with Andres Iniesta at Manchester CityGetty Images - Getty

But that deal is believed to be non-binding, meaning the Spain playmaker could still move on.

And the Sunday Mirror claim Manchester City manager Guardiola is keeping tabs on the situation and is keen to reunite with his former player.

Barca signed £142million Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in January as a long-term replacement for Iniesta.

His influence is still felt at the Catalan club having started 21 games this season.

Andres Iniesta is still going strong at 33 at Barcelona but has been used more sparinglyAndres Iniesta is still going strong at 33 at Barcelona but has been used more sparinglyGetty - Contributor Philippe Coutinho was signed by Barcelona as a long-term replacement for Andres IniestaPhilippe Coutinho was signed by Barcelona as a long-term replacement for Andres IniestaAFP

But playing time is expected to reduce in the coming seasons as he nears retirement.

Iniesta’s former midfield partner, Xavi, left the Nou Camp at 35 for a final challenge in Qatar with Al Sadd.

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Guardiola, who was effectively replaced as a player by Iniesta when he left Barcelona in 2001, hopes the midfielder will also want to break new ground in the Premier League.

The pair won a staggering three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues, two Copa del Reys and three Spanish Super Cups during Guardiola’s four-year spell in charge of Barca.

Andres Iniesta in trophies

Barcelona

La Liga: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16

Champions League: 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15

Copa del Rey: 2009-09, 2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17

Spanish Super Cup: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2015-16

Uefa Super Cup: 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15

Fifa Club World Cup: 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15

Spain

World Cup: 2010

European Championship: 2008, 2012

Guardiola’s midfield trio of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho are already running riot in the Premier League having helped the club to a 15-point lead at the top of the table.

But Iniesta’s experience would be sure to help his old boss in his mission for total domination across Europe and in cup competitions as well.

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In May, Iniesta hinted he could be tempted to pack it in at Barca is the right opportunity came along.

He said: “My wish has been always the same and that doesn’t change, which is retiring at Barcelona.

“That’s always been my wish since I got here aged 12.

“But of course there are always possibilities for something else.”

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