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Which A-League clubs could Andres Iniesta play for?

9:24 AM SGT 8/5/18
Andres Iniesta Barcelona
Rumours suggest the Spanish legend could be heading Down Under, but who would he play for?

Barcelona superstar Andres Iniesta is reportedly keen for a move to Australia's A-League because of the lifestyle Down Under.

While there is no official word on the 33-year-old's future, Alessandro Del Piero's foray into Australia also started as rumour.

If Iniesta decides to make Australia his home, you can probably rule out several clubs from being able to sign the Spaniard.

Central Coast Mariners, Wellington Phoenix, Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets would be unlikely to afford the Spanish playmaker.

But which A-League clubs will be in the frame?

Melbourne City

The City Football Group would have to be the early favourite to snare the Iniesta's signature because of their ability to pay huge money for a marquee.

You would a think a player of Iniesta's reputation would be a huge weapon in City's attempts to wrestle market share off city rivals Melbourne Victory.

The club currently have two marquees on their books in star striker Bruno Fornaroli and midfielder Marcin Budzinski.

Fornaroli is a bona fide gun, is contracted until the end of next season and is definitely going nowhere.

But Polish attacker Budzinski struggled in his first season at the club - only playing 845 minutes as other options were preferred.

It's understood Melbourne City would be open to parting ways with Budzinski if an agreement can be organised, and this could be a way to clear a path for Iniesta to join the club.

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory have never been an organisation to chase superstar marquee players - but with the club in transition after their championship win, a move for Iniesta could be considered.

There could be up to 11 player departures following Saturday's 1-0 grand final win over Newcastle Jets, with several players out of contract and others could possibly move overseas despite being tied to the clug long-term.

James Troisi is believed to be moving into the marquee position vacated by Mark Milligan, but it's understood Victory would allow him to leave if he found an opportunity abroad.

The club's other marquee Besart Berisha is under contract until the end of next season, but made some comments after the grand final that suggest he may be weighing up his options.

One of these two players would have to leave or have their wages moved under the salary cap if Victory were keen on making a play for Iniesta.

The signing of Iniesta would also give Victory a strong hand in their battle to suppress the advances of City Football Group's Melbourne City.

Sydney FC

Having lost master coach Graham Arnold and missing out on their second consecutive championship, the signing of Iniesta would be a huge boost the Sky Blues, who will be keen to maintain their A-League dominance.

Sydney FC were the club that managed to snare Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero in 2012 - and managing to acquire Iniesta would be a similar boost the club and the A-League as a whole.

Former Johnny Warren medallist Milos Ninkovic and golden boot winner Bobo are the club's marquee players but both are out of contract now the season has ended.

It's understood Bobo's stunning 27-goal season triggered a contract extension for next season, but an official agreement is still yet to be announced by the player or club.

The Sky Blues would love to to retain the services of playmaker Ninkovic, but also need to consider the contract of recent Johnny Warren medallist Adrian Mierzejewski, who is keen for a raise despite having two seasons to run on his deal - which is inside the salary cap.

A move for Iniesta would be difficult - the Sky Blues would be unlikely to retain all three of the above gun foreigners - but it will likely be considered if the Spaniard chooses to make Australia his home.

Western Sydney Wanderers

After a season wandering in the wilderness with the departure of inaugural coach Tony Popovic in pre-season, you can imagine Western Sydney Wanderers would love to get themselves back among Australia's elite with the signing of Iniesta.

The red and black missed the finals this season under Spanish coach Josep Gombau, who was promptly dismissed following the end of the campaign.

Western Sydney had two Spanish marquees this campaign - striker Oriol Riera and playmaker Alvaro Cejudo.

Riera, who is contracted for next season, starred in 2017-18, winning the club's player of the year on his way to scoring 19 goals in all competitions.

Cejudo has already departed the club, meaning the Wanderers are the only team in this list with a currently open marquee slot.

Whether they have the finances to lure Iniesta is another question but you can be sure the club would love to make a statement in signing the Spanish legend.