QN Sport+ Television N.V.

February deadline for Iniesta’s future

Ernesto Valverde may have only just arrived at Barcelona, but he already has a huge issue to deal with, that of Andres Iniesta‘s future.

The 33-year-old’s contract runs out in the summer of 2018 and he’ll stay on for another year, but the first few months of the 2017/18 campaign will be crucial in helping the captain to make up his mind over whether or not to continue, with February the crucial month.

By that point in the season he will know how he feels about working with Valverde, he will know if the injury issues which plagued his 2016/17 season will have continued and he will know if he can still perform at the expected level, factors which will be important in his decision to either stay at the Camp Nou and to retire there or to move on to a less competitive league.

If he does opt to depart, then it would be easier to do so by letting his current deal run out, rather than signing a new one and later deciding he needs a way out of it.

In any case, he has the right to decide his own fate and to do so when suits him, with February an optimal month for all involved.

One other factor for Iniesta to consider this season is that there will be a World Cup at the end of it and he’ll hope to focus all his energies in playing well enough and in earning enough playing time to make Julen Lopetegui’s squad.

The coach may have counted on Iniesta so far, but he knows that his position is one of the most competitive.