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Iniesta's 'unrealistic' Japan switch denied by Vissel Kobe

20:36 GMT+4 09/05/2018
Andres Iniesta
After Chongquing Lifan backed away from a possible deal, the J League side are the latest to rule themselves out of the race for the Barca idol

Andres Iniesta has not held talks over a shock move to Vissel Kobe, according to the club's head of player development Atsuhiro Miura.

The Barcelona captain had been expected to join Chinese Super League side Chongqing Lifan at the end of the season, but the club's president Jiang Lizhang hinted in a statement released via social media on Sunday that Iniesta would not be joining as a player.

Reports indicated the Japanese team Kobe had emerged as the most likely destination for the Spain international, regarded as one of European football's modern greats.

But Miura said reports of a deal that could be worth as much as €25million per year are wide of the mark.

"I am surprised at the amount of money reported," Miura was quoted by the Japan Times as saying. 

"Honestly, that doesn't strike me as being realistic.

"Such talks have definitely not taken place.

"If he actually were to come, he would be the best player. But it's not realistic."

It has also been suggested Iniesta could be keen on a switch to Australia, but the 33-year-old has given no clues as to his next move.