Barcelona are looking to England and France to replace veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta, with the Spanish international dropping hints that he will leave the club at the end of his current deal.
That would see Barcelona lose their midfield lynchpin at the end of next season, just past his 34th birthday, and the Mirror report that the club are looking towards Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Paris Saint-German star Marco Verratti as possible replacements.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 19, 2017
Manager Luis Enrique has insisted that the decision on Iniesta's future will be the player's alone, although his own impending departure means that an as-yet unknown manager will have 12 months to convince Iniesta to stay - or make the unlikely decision that the World Cup winner has nothing left to contribute.
Coutinho is said to sit at the top of the Catalan club's hit-list after impressing for Liverpool over the last 18 months; although his recent performances have raised some questions over his consistency as he continues a slow return to the top of his game after injury.
Iniesta though. I can't think of a player who is more comfortable receiving the ball in any part of the pitch.
— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) March 19, 2017
24-year-old Verratti is also a serious option for the reigning Spanish champions, despite his role in his side's capitulation against Barca in their astounding Champions League last 16 tie, which saw PSG lose 6-5 on aggregate, despite taking a 4-0 lead to the Nou Camp.
The club's current midfield options, including Ivan Rakitic and Andre Gomes, all have question marks of varying sizes hanging over their names at the club - leading to the thought that any replacement for Iniesta may have to come from outside the club rather than from within.
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