Iniesta contract refusal puts Manchester clubs on alert

Manchester City and Manchester United are to go head-to-head in the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, who has rejected a new contract with the Spanish club, according to the Daily Star.

Iniesta is reportedly unhappy at the new £200,000 per-week terms offered by Barcelona, despite it being double the amount he earns in his current deal, which runs until the summer of 2015.

And his rejection has put both Manchester clubs on alert. Man Utd made several attempts to sign a playmaker during the summer, with Iniesta’s Barcelona teammate Cesc Fabregas their main target, and they saw two bids rejected for the former Arsenal captain.

Man City have close links with the Catalans, with two of their staff – sporting director Txiki Begiristain, and chief executive Ferran Soriano – having previously worked with Iniesta at the Nou Camp.

Iniesta has spent his entire career with Barcelona, most of which has been spent alongside Xavi in a long-standing midfield partnership. Since making his debut in December 2002, he has scored 45 goals in 452 appearances in all competitions, and has 90 caps for Spain, for whom he scored the goal which won them the 2010 World Cup, as well as helping them to consecutive European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

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