Andres Iniesta Reportedly Targeted by Manchester United for January Transfer

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 06:  Andres Iniesta of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group H match Between FC Barcelona and AC Milan at Camp Nou on November 6, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

David Moyes is preparing to capitalise on Andres Iniesta’s reported contract row at Barcelona in order to sign the Spanish maestro for Manchester United, according to reports.

The Scottish manager—who recently led the Premier League champions to a vital victory over Arsenal—is said to be keeping tabs on a situation that threatens to end Iniesta’s career-long Camp Nou association, per John Edwards of the Daily Mail:

The Manchester United manager is carefully monitoring events at the La Liga leaders and could follow up his interest with a bid in the January window, if he feels there is a genuine chance of pulling off a transfer that would rank as one of the most audacious the Barclays Premier League has known.

Edwards believes that, despite La Blaugrana’s positioning at the top of La Liga, Iniesta may be willing to move on after struggling to see eye-to-eye with the Barcelona bosses.

He cites the sacking of physio Emili Ricart—who helped Iniesta recover from numerous muscle injuries—as a factor in the tension between the team and the 29-year-old, who may see his future away from Catalonia:

There are increasing noises in Spain that all is not well between the little maestro and his Nou Camp bosses and that, for the first time in his career, he may be contemplating joining a new club, rather than signing a new contract.

Moyes embarrassed himself during the summer transfer window with a public pursuit of Cesc Fabregas, Iniesta’s teammate.

United’s new manager failed to land the former Arsenal star and also missed out on opportunities to bring in Ander Herrera of Athletic Bilbao and Sami Khedira of Real Madrid, per David Kent of the Daily Mail.

Iniesta’s potential move to Old Trafford seems extremely unlikely, but the 2012 European Player of the Year would significantly improve the Premier League champions’ mundane midfield.

His variation of passes, expert vision and ability to make the ball stick defines Barcelona’s recent era of success alongside midfield partner Xavi.

Iniesta has won six La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, six Spanish Super Cups, a trio of Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups and a brace of FIFA World Club Cup Championships since making his Barcelona debut in 2002.

He also scored the World Cup-winning goal for Spain in 2010's final against the Netherlands, and appeared in the side that captured European Championship glory in 2008 and 2012. As far as Spanish football goes, Iniesta's name is synonymous with success.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Andres Iniesta of FC Barcelona (L) in action against Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

United’s midfield is likely to face a great challenge in the coming weeks. Michael Carrick has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks and is unlikely to reach full fitness before Christmas, according to Sky Sports.

This means Tom Cleverley, Anderson and Marouane Fellaini will have to step up, a prospect that is sure to leave United followers cowering with dread.

While it is perhaps unthinkable to imagine Iniesta in United's colours—certainly if Moyes' transfer business remains true to form—United may feel this is the right time to tempt a player who has done it all in his native country.