Vissel executive denies deal done for Barcelona's Andres Iniesta

Iniesta completes the one-two

China's Chongqing Lifan Tuesday denied reports that the 33-year-old legend will be joining them "as a player", but left the door open to future cooperation in some capacity.

But where the Spain worldwide is heading to next remains unclear, with Australia and Japan mooted as possible destinations after he was initially expected to be heading to China.

A-League boss Greg O'Rourke said four Australian clubs have signalled their intent to make use of a recently announced Aus$3 million (US$2.2 million) "marquee fund", which could be used to lure a player of Iniesta's calibre.

Iniesta has been linked with clubs in the United States and the Far East, with Cadena Ser (h/t ESPN's Jordi Blanco) publishing strong claims a deal with Japanese side Vissel Kobe is all but done.

"We're very pleased with the match", said Iniesta.

"I won't name who but I do understand that A-League clubs have expressed interest, and that's a start", Gallop said on Thursday.


Meanwhile, Radio Catalunya reports Rakuten owner Hiroshi Mikitani has set about tying up a deal for Iniesta to play for his team in Japan, Vissel Kobe.

The club had earlier preempted through their Twitter handle that they will be honouring Iniesta with the memento to pay tribute to his career and his values as an athlete as he prepares to leave Barca in the summer.

"It also offers Australia's lifestyle and we saw with [former Sydney FC star Alessandro] Del Piero and others that that is an attraction". There are things to seal, little details and I will try and choose the best option.

"If he actually came he would be incredible - but it's not realistic".

"I am surprised at the amount of money reported".

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