Andres Iniesta’s potential move to Chinese Super League side Chongqing Lifan has been cast into doubt.

This was after they said they would not pay the FC Barcelona playmaker a salary that would distort the market.

The 33-year-old Barca captain said in April he would leave the club he joined as a 12-year-old in the summer, with media reports suggesting he would be moving to Chongqing.

In a statement on social network Weibo on Friday, the Chinese side’s president Jiang Lizhang said they were working with Iniesta in areas including marketing and youth education.

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He however added that there was no deal for him to play.

Chongqing said they would adhere to rational investment and follow rules set by the government-controlled Chinese Football Association, which includes a salary cap.

Spanish reports had indicated Iniesta was close to agreeing a three-year deal with Chongqing, worth 81 million euros ($97 million).

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