All change for Iniesta with Japan now perceived as his post-Barca destination

May 09, 2018, 07:41 IST | IANS

It looks as if it is all change for FC Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta with his expected move to China at the end of the season swapped for one to Japan, according to the Spanish media

Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta

It looks as if it is all change for FC Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta with his expected move to China at the end of the season swapped for one to Japan, according to the Spanish media. It is just 10 days since the 33-year-old announced he would leave Barcelona at the end of the current campaign and although he didn't give a destination, commentators worldwide took it for granted that the Spain international would move to the Chinese Super League with Chonquing Dangdai Lifan the likely destination, reported Xinhua news agency.

The Spanish press even leaked details of the multi-million euro deal that had supposedly tempted Iniesta to China. However, that move seems to be in pieces after Chonquing Dangdai Lifan on Monday issued a communique saying that the club would continue investing "rationally" and would not "go against the management policy of the Federation or distort the market". The club added that although it would "deepen" its cooperation with Iniesta, "he will not join us as a player."

In the wake of that surprising news, the Spanish media now report that Iniesta will not play in China, but for Japanese club, Vissel Kobe. The club is owned by Hiroshi Mikitani, who is the CEO of Rakuten, a company dedicated to online sales and cable TV and which is currently the main shirt sponsor of FC Barcelona.

Spanish radio station, Cadena Ser reported Iniesta will sign a three-year deal with Vissel Kobe thought to be worth around 25 million euros ($29.66 million) per season, before returning to Barcelona to take up a position to help develop young players. It was also reported that during his time in Japan he will also be the image of Barca as the club looks to attract talented young Japanese footballers.

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