Barcelona fear a monster bid from Manchester City for Andres Iniesta

16 December 2010 10:45
Barcelona fear Manchester City could make a new statement of intent by making an offer they can't refuse for Andres Iniesta.

There is groundswell of support for the Spain midfielder to be recognised as the best player in the world when the FIFA Ballon d'Or is handed out in Zurich on January 10.

And a monster bid from City would crush any lingering doubt about a lack of ambition following the fallout of Carlos Tevez handing in a transfer request.

One of the very best: Andres Iniesta in action against Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp last weekend

The depth of Barcelona's financial problems came to light this summer, with debts of £370million forcing them to sell shirt sponsorship for the first time.

While a controversial £125m five-year deal with the Qatar Foundation has eased the pain, there is a feeling that only Lionel Messi can be considered completely off limits when it comes to the transfer market.

Barca have imposed limits on generous contract offers, which has already pushed Dani Alves closer to City than an agreement at the Camp Nou. And midfielder Yaya Toure was happy to leave the Spanish champions for Eastlands last summer.

Will he stay or will he go? Iniesta fights for the ball with Osasuna's Juanfran earlier this month

Bids of around £60m for Iniesta may tempt Barca, though whether the 26-year-old would leave after 15 years is another matter.

The Catalans are briefing that the story is untrue and are expected to issue a hands-off warning, but Yahoo Sports quote a club insider as saying: '(Iniesta) has had an amazing year and he is part of the fabric of (Barcelona), but that doesn't mean the right offer won't be considered and possibly accepted.'

The Spain international last year signed a contract extension through to 2015 which set his release clause at £170m and he is battling team-mates Xavi and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d'Or.

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Source: Daily_Mail