Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has claimed that the Catalans are in negotiations with Andres Iniesta's agent for the Spanish midfielder to sign a new "indefinite contract" at the Nou Camp. The club chief also hailed the Catalans transfer overhaul despite their unsuccessful attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.
The future of the captain has come into question in recent times as his current contract at Barcelona is due to expire at the end of the season – and he will thus be able to join another club as a free-agent in the summer.
Earlier this month Bartomeu said that Barcelona had reached an agreement in principle for Iniesta to extend his contract, only for the player to deny it a day later.
The Spanish international has since said that he is yet to decide his future after last season he was restricted to a secondary role by former manager Luis Enrique.
It has been said that the 33-year-old maestro wants to see whether the situation changes with Ernesto Valverde before making a final decision on whether to sign a new contract.
Yet, Bartomeu remains optimistic that Iniesta will eventually put pen to paper on a new special contract which will let the player to decide when it is the right time to hang up his boots.
"The agreement with Iniesta will be special, it will be different just because it is him. I won't reveal exactly what because it is part of private negotiations. We have been talking with his agent Ramon Sostres for a long time and we will keep advancing [the negotiations] as the will of both parties is for Iniesta to continue. I am sure that Barcelona members would say [give] Iniesta whatever it takes [for him to stay]," Bartomeu said as quoted by Marca.
"Iniesta isn't just a reference point for us, but also for the youngsters. He has earned the right to play here until he decides not to any more. The club fans should be calm. We have seen these days that Andres is a key player for the club and Valverde counts on him. We are talking to his agent and the intention is that this extension will be an indefinite contract so that he can finish whenever he desires."
Barcelona eventually tried to sign Coutinho during the summer transfer window amid suggestions that the club see the Liverpool ace as a long-term replacement for Iniesta.
Bartomeu, however, explained that they decided against his signing due to Liverpool high demands, having previously said that Liverpool asked them to pay €200m (£175.8m) to complete his signing on deadline day.
"If the market does not allow a move, then you can't force one, the market is changing sizably because there is money coming into it that isn't from the world of football," the Barcelona president replied when asked about their unsuccessful summer attempts to sign the Liverpool star.
The decision was a big blow for the Barcelona fans as the club eventually decided against signing another alternative to Coutinho despite having fresh money to spend from Neymar's €222m sale to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, Bartomeu hailed the Catalans transfer overhaul, with Valverde making four new signings in the form of Paulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and club record signing Ousmane Dembele.
"I have no frustration with how the transfer period went, I'm very happy with our signings," Bartomeu stated. "We wanted a good right-back and Semedo arrived, Paulino arrived in midfield and Dembele as a Neymar replacement, I'm also delighted about Deulofeu's return."