Andres Iniesta says his “head, heart and body” will decide if remains at Barcelona beyond the end of the season as uncertainty continues to shroud his future.
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed on Tuesday that there was an agreement in principle for Iniesta to extend his contract beyond its expiry next summer, but the midfielder later denied any such agreement existed.
Speaking after Saturday’s 5-0 Catalan derby win over Espanyol, Iniesta confirmed talks over a renewal have taken place, but once again evaded committing his long-term future to the club.
“Talks have been underway for a while, things are going as they’re going and my only desire is to have a great season, to be at my best and to win things with the club,” he told reporters.
“This is my home and whether I continue or not, it’s not something which is distracting me.”
Asked why he’d denied a pre-agreement was in place, he continued: “[Because] that would suggest everything is done and that’s not the case. The case is a little particular at the moment.
“It wasn’t a reaction to contradict the president. I told the truth about the situation and that’s all. Whether I continue or not, there will never be any problems. I wouldn’t be capable of a personal situation becoming any type of war.
“It’s normal in [my] situation to assess things, but we will see. I’m focused more than ever on my work. As for my personal future, we will see. The most important thing is on the pitch, like today.
“I’m thinking about doing well, performing, and my head, heart and body will decide [what comes next].”
Sporting director Robert Fernandez, meanwhile, expressed his belief that Iniesta will remain at Camp Nou.
“The situation is that he [Iniesta] will stay with us,” he told Movistar. “We are talking about a very special player; a player who was born here in a footballing sense.
“Andres gets special treatment because of how he is, his behaviour, the joy he has given us … and I am convinced he will give us many more memorable moments. We want him here and not just for the year he has left [on his contract].”
Iniesta played 75 minutes on Saturday as a Lionel Messi hat trick helped Barca beat Espanyol. Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez also scored to make it three league wins from three from Erensto Valverde’s side.
“Despite the final result, it was not easy,” coach Valverde said in a news conference.
“Espanyol always give their all in these type of games, they play tough. They fought really well, but we have great players like Messi, who scored three goals, and Suarez, who gave his all, like the rest of his teammates.
“We adapted to the players we have. There was [Gerard] Deulofeu, who came in from both flanks, [Jordi] Alba, who attacked down the left, and Messi, who went through the middle.”