Chinese club threatens legal action over Barcelona star Andres Iniesta transfer rumour

David Cooper 13/03/2018
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Tianjin Quanjian have threatened legal action in a bid to stamp out speculation that Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta will soon be joining the Chinese club.

The 33-year-old Spain midfielder has been linked with a summer move to the Chinese Super League (CSL), which has attracted a number of big-name foreign players.

Veteran defender Javier Mascherano left Barcelona in January for Hebei China Fortune, joining the likes of the Brazilians Hulk and Oscar in the CSL.

But Tianjin moved to quash the rumours about Iniesta, issuing a statement saying: “Our club solemnly state that such news reports are false. For all false reports about our club, we reserve the right to solve it through legal means,” the statement said.

Barcelona daily Sport said last month that Iniesta, who will be 34 in May, had been offered 35 million euros a season to switch to Tianjin.

Iniesta, scorer of the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final, signed a “lifetime contract” with Barca last October.

However, Barca’s January signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in a 160-million-euro deal suggested they are planning for a future without the veteran.

Ambitious Tianjin already have Brazilian forward Pato and Belgian international midfielder Axel Witsel on their books.

They were previously linked with striker Diego Costa, who is now at Atletico Madrid after leaving Chelsea.

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Andres Iniesta joins Barcelona squad for training ahead of Champions League clash against Chelsea

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In some good news for Barcelona fans, experienced midfielder Andres Iniesta returned to training along with his team mates on Monday.

The veteran trained for a part of Barca’s routine session as he continued his recovery from a hamstring injury that he sustained against Atletico Madrid last Sunday.

Speaking on Iniesta’s absence, Ernesto Valverde had said: “Without Iniesta we lose a unique player, irreplaceable. It’s difficult to find a substitute for his because there is no-one like him in the world. Let’s hope the injury is nothing serious.”

Meanwhile, Catalan Radio said Iniesta will be fit to start the Champions League game against Chelsea on Wednesday.

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Barcelona players congratulate Lionel Messi after birth of third son Ciro

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Lionel Messi became a father of three sons on Saturday.

Barcelona were back to training on Monday morning ahead of their highly-entertaining Champions League return leg against Chelsea.

There were smiles all around as Ernesto Valverde‘s squad first applauded Lionel Messi on the birth of his third child, Ciro.

Messi’s third son was born on Saturday, and was also the reason why the Argentine was left out of the squad that secured a 2-0 win at Malaga.

Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho got on the scoresheet for the Catalan giants as they maintained their 8-point La Liga lead.

Barca will host Antonio Conte‘s side on Wednesday with a slight advantage – an away goal scored by Messi himself as the aggregate stands at 1-1.

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