Barcelona confident of agreeing a new contract with Andres Iniesta after Manchester United link

Andres Iniesta: Barcelona expect the midfielder to sign a new contract

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Barcelona are confident that they will agree a deal with Andres Iniesta to extend his contract at the club before the Christmas break in Spain and end links to Manchester United.

The Catalan outfit have been locked in talks as they bid to persuade the midfield playmaker to commit his future to the club as rumours abound that he could leave.

Premier League champions United have been strongly linked with Iniesta as they could offer him a new adventure, but Barcelona believe that they will stave off any interest from other clubs.

"We are close to agreeing a new contract with Iniesta," sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told Radio Catalunya.

"I think it could happen before Christmas."

Sky Sports' Spanish expert Guillem Balague had earlier expressed his belief that Iniesta, who is out of contract in 2015, will sign a new deal with Barcelona.

"I've seen that the rumour of Andres Iniesta moving to Manchester United has attracted a lot of interest," wrote Guillem.

Player Profile

8. Andres Iniesta

  • Appearances 45 (13)
  • Goals 3
  • Assists 12
  • Yellows 2
  • Reds 0
  • Current Season

"Barcelona are saying everything with his contract will be sorted before Christmas, but I'm not sure how they can be sure of the timing. The club almost announced that Victor Valdes was going to renew his contract (in fact, they said they were very confident it was going to be in place) but he is leaving.

"But before you get all excited, I have to tell you that Iniesta is not listening to offers from anybody.

"His agents are aware of interest not only from Manchester United but from every other big club in Europe. It's logical that these kind of rumours come out when he is looking for a new contract but he has not asked for any information on anybody because his priority is to renew his contract with Barcelona.

"Iniesta is confident that is going to happen and Barcelona are very confident it is going to happen and they insist it will take place before Christmas.

"Even though he rejected the first offer from Barcelona both parties are saying they are very close. I just don't see Iniesta going to Manchester United or anywhere else.

"I see him renewing his contract, so does Barcelona and so do Iniesta's representatives. It's just going to be a matter of time until he signs."

Meanwhile, Zubizarreta has reflected on Barcelona's search to find a replacement for the departing Victor Valdes and explained that the club may look to strengthen their position with more than one keeper.

Valdes announced that he will leave the Blaugrana at the end of the current campaign and reports in Spain suggest Borussia Monchengladbach's Marc-Andre ter Stegen is top of their list.

Zubizarreta added: "I do not want to name names. People talk, but all they know is that I travelled to Germany, not what I did there.

"There is a lot to chew over and we cannot rule out signing not just one, but two goalkeepers."