Barcelona want to hand long-serving midfielder Andres Iniesta a contract for life, reports Sport.
The 32-year-old will see his current contract at the camp Nou expire in June 2018 and Barca are planning to open negotiations with him over a new deal in the New Year.
Barca are prepared to let Iniesta decide the duration of his next contract, while they also want him to remain involved at the Camp Nou once his playing career is over.
Iniesta could work at Barca as an ambassador, youth-team coach or first-team assistant coach in the future.
Iniesta is signed up until June 30, 2018, when he will have just turned 34. Barcelona will speak with Iniesta in the new year before the end of the season and see what the player wants to do. Without rush, without pressure. The club know that a legend like Iniesta should be allowed to do what ever makes him feel happiest and comfortable.
The club’s own rule is to renew players’ contracts year on year when they reach 34, related to their sporting performance. However, Iniesta’s case is completely different. He is an institution at Barcelona, having spent 20 years here, behaving extremely well and playing superbly. He is an icon.
What Barcelona will do is offer Iniesta a contract that he can choose the length of. Barcelona want Iniesta here for life. Beyond the pitch, he can have a new role. A representative of the club, like Emilio Butragueno at Rael Madrid, a youth coach or an assistant with the first team.
Barcelona know that Iniesta would fit like a glove in La Masia. He was the first to come out of the system, a clear example of working hard at the lower levels being able to bring you to the top. He would also be a local reference point for the youngsters.
However, it’s tough to know how long Iniesta will go on playing for. He still makes the difference for Barcelona on a regular basis and is a grand professional. His name always needs to be linked to that of FC Barcelona. He will hopefully spend many more years here. It would be a great sign.