March 14, 2018 / 11:22 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Barcelona captain Iniesta considering move to China

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta says he has an offer from a Chinese club and he must decide his future before the end of April.

Soccer Football - Champions League - FC Barcelona Training - Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, Barcelona, Spain - March 13, 2018 Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta during training REUTERS/Albert Gea

The 33-year-old playmaker, who signed a lifetime contract with Barcelona in October, has been linked with Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.

Although Tianjin released a statement saying the reports were untrue, Iniesta confirmed on Wednesday that a Chinese team have made an offer for him.

“I must decide before April 30 whether to stay at Barcelona or go to China,” Iniesta told reporters after Barcelona beat Chelsea 3-0 at the Nou Camp in the Champions League. “I have to weigh up which is best for me and for the club.”

Iniesta returned from a hamstring injury to start the game and helped Barcelona reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

“I don’t know (what he will do), it’s a very personal decision, he has to decide,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

“He has his reasons and will decide what’s best for him. I’m not thinking of a Barcelona without Andres Iniesta because right now we have a Barcelona with Andres Iniesta.”

Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Ed Osmond

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