Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas have already spurned opportunities to move to Manchester United since David Moyes took charge at the club, and it looks likely that a third Barcelona midfielder will be added to the list.
Andres Iniesta’s contract extension has taken decidedly longer than it was expected to, and as such there have been rumblings that the Spain international could leave Camp Nou.
With the World Cup winner potentially available, the Old Trafford side were one of the teams most commonly being mentioned as a potential destination for Iniesta.
However, with the British media getting excited that the star could be on his way to the Premier League, the 29-year-old has dashed hopes by publicly stating his intention to stay with the Catalan club.
"You have to be where you want to be, and Barca is the place for me," Iniesta admitted.
"The club knows that and wants me to stay, so I hope and expect to spend the years I have left playing there."
In all likelihood, Iniesta is a player that United should not really be looking at anyway. Yes, he is a spectacular attacking midfielder who would instantly improve the team, but the chances of him leaving his boyhood club were never really all that significant.
Given Iniesta’s age, he will likely sign one new extension and finish his career at Barcelona. With United still look for a long-term successor for Paul Scholes, a younger player should be targeted anyway.
They were interested in Ander Herrera over the summer and someone like Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke would also fit the bill.
With the Premier League champions entering a transitional period with some older players starting to be phased out, Moyes should be looking at transfer targets that have considerable ability but can grow in Manchester.
The Old Trafford outfit’s most-successful signing in the last ten years must surely be Cristiano Ronaldo – a player that had all the raw attributes to make him a star, but needed the tutelage he gained at Carrington to become a world beater.
Someone like Koke or Herrera could well be the player to step into Scholes’ role in the team, and remain in it for years to come. Even if Iniesta was to switch to United, the club would be in the same position in a couple of years and need a deputy once more.
image: © tchacky