According to Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Andrés Iniesta is set to leave Barcelona at the end of the season. Reports suggest the 33-year-old stalwart will join ambitious Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian, who are currently coached by former Fiorentina tactician Paulo Sousa, reports calciomercato.
By all accounts, the Blaugrana will allow him to leave on a free transfer as a gesture of goodwill. This means Tianjin will avoid paying the notorious ‘luxury’ tax imposed by the Chinese Government as a way of limiting foreign expenditure.
The Spaniard will earn around €20 million per season in the Far East, which is a figure he could not say no to despite signing a lifetime contract with the Catalan club last October.
Iniesta will team up with Alexandre Pato and Axel Witsel, as Tianjin look to improve upon the fourth place finish they achieved last season under the tutelage of former FIFA World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro. With someone of his quality due to arrive, expectations are sure to surge through the roof.