What could have been! Former director reveals how Real Madrid came close to snatching Andres Iniesta from Clasico rivals Barcelona
- Real talked to Iniesta's agent
- Were willing to pay release clause
- Iniesta ended up signing new Barca deal
WHAT HAPPENED? Predrag Mijatovic insisted that Real had once begun negotiating with Iniesta's agent after the player's contract negotiations with Barcelona stalled. Madrid had talked to Iniesta's father, made contact with his agent, and were reportedly ready to pay his massive release clause.
Sadly, Madridistas are left wondering what could have been, as the Spain international eventually penned an extension to stay a Cule.
WHAT THEY SAID: Mijatovic offered some details on the deal that never was in an interview with Movistar +:
"Yes, I wanted to sign him. We were, well, close... I don't know if close. But we took advantage of it when he was renewing, he couldn't reach an agreement," He revealed.
"We talked to his father. We tried to talk to his representative to take advantage of the opportunity. He had a high clause and we were determined to pay it. He was like a player who always admired him and he was a phenomenon," The former director added.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although Mijatovic didn't reveal the exact date of Madrid's negotiations, he was director of the club from 2006-2009. Iniesta penned a new Barca contract in 2008.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR INIESTA? The former Barcelona star has one more year on his deal with Japanese side Vissel Kobe. Looking back, though, his career could have been entirely different had a surprise move ever materialised.
He revealed in October 2022 that he would be open to returning to La Blaugrana once his playing days are over.