REAL Madrid is trying to sign FC Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta. Spanish daily Marca reported today that the Spanish champions were prepared to pay the €60 million (US$83 million) buy-out clause to secure the services of the Spain midfielder. Marca said Iniesta's father, who works as his representative, had started talks with Madrid last week and that a deal was imminent.
Madrid turned to Iniesta after being rebuffed by Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas, though the deal could still be called off if Madrid manages to sign AC Milan midfielder Kaka. Iniesta, whose Barcelona contract runs to 2010, has been at the Nou Camp since 2002, scoring 13 goals in 181 appearances. If a deal is completed, he would be the second prominent Barcelona player to join bitter rival Madrid this offseason. Last week, striker Javier Saviola moved to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium after four seasons at the Nou Camp. Iniesta, one of Spain's most exciting talents, would likely receive a swift rebuff from Barcelona fans if the 23-year-old completed the transfer.
Luis Figo moved from Barcelona to Madrid at the peak of his career in 2000. The Portuguese winger was never forgiven by the Catalan fans, who pelted Figo with debris in his first return to the Nou Camp.