Iniesta confident of two more years in Barcelona starting XI

Having given himself an April 30 deadline to decide on his future, Andres Iniesta hinted he might be leaning towards staying at Barcelona.

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta   -  Getty Images

Andres Iniesta is confident of playing in Barcelona's starting XI for another two years and only plans to leave if his body prevents him from giving 100 per cent.

The 33-year-old signed a new "lifetime" contract with Barca in October, seemingly ending any discussion about the possibility of him finishing his career away from Camp Nou.

But speculation has picked up in the last couple of months, with a move to the Chinese Super League – and specifically Tianjin Quanjian – mooted as a potential next destination, as his new contract is reported to contain a clause enabling him to leave for a club of a lesser stature.

Iniesta has given himself a deadline of April 30 to make a decision on where his future lies, but he has perhaps now given the clearest indication of what he is likely to do.

"I would not go anywhere to compete against my club," Iniesta said on Cadena Ser's El Larguero radio show. "All scenarios that don't involve competing against Barcelona are possible.

"Many things are going round in my head, some with more strength than others. There are a few weeks left where the decision to continue or not is there to be made.

"It's one of the most important decisions of my career and I understand that I am at an age where things change and other doors open that are very exciting in many ways.

"It will not be a matter of love; it will be about me feeling what I think I am able to contribute. If injuries respect me, I can see myself in the Barcelona XI for the next two years.

"If I leave, it will be because I can't give 100 per cent as a player and as a person to my club. It will be a difficult decision regardless, but I'm very calm about it and I'm enjoying this year very much."

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