President Sandro Rosell used his media appearance today to announce the renewal of Andrés Iniesta’s contract until 2018. The player’s contract was due to expire in 2015, but has now been officially extended for a further three years.
Marca was first to report the player's future would be confirmed:
The contract now hinges on small details and the club publicly announcing the deal. Both Iniesta and Barca president, Sandro Rosell said some days ago that negotiations were going according to plan.
The length of the player's contract could see him stay at the club until 2018. This was the biggest stumbling block, because the player wanted to extend his contract for a further five seasons, including the year he still has on his current deal which is up in June 2015.
This news will come as relief to Barca fans who have seen Iniesta linked with a move away from the city across recent weeks.
Tim Rich of The Independent suggested that Manchester United were interested in acquiring his services, but any potential plans look set to crumble as it appears Iniesta is likely to commit the rest of his career to the club that plucked him from Albacete as a fresh-faced youngster in 1996.
Iniesta has gone on to define an era of success—both for La Blaugrana and Spain—and remains a prominent figure in both teams' search for glory across the next season.
Although often rotated by Gerardo Martino—as many of Barca's stars are—Iniesta has made 16 starts and five substitute appearances across La Liga and the Champions League this campaign. He recently scored in the 4-0 win over Granada, per WhoScored.com, helping Tata's team to continue fulfilling the division's top spot.
News of a contract extension will hardly come as a surprise. Iniesta has never suggested he wishes to leave and is likely to continue winning silverware at Barca until his final ball is kicked.
United's interest in landing the player, should it be true, would only amount to another example of David Moyes targeting unrealistic individuals to improve his struggling side.
Will Andres Iniesta end his playing career at Barcelona?
Marca suggested both Barca and Iniesta's camp "have been working tirelessly during the past few days to tie up loose ends," suggesting fans can expect to unwrap an early Christmas present in the lead-up to the festive break.