FC Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has been signed by Japanese club Vissel Kobe, a Japanese sports daily reported on Friday, weeks after the midfielder had announced he would leave the former European champions at the end of the season.
The report also said the transfer would be announced after Barcelona plays its match against Real Sociedad on May 20, and Iniesta is expected to visit Japan following the match, possibly to meet Hiroshi Mikitani, the owner of tech giant Rakuten and Vissel Kobe.
A club spokesperson, however, refused to confirm the news to Efe on Friday.
Mikitani added fuel to the fire on May 15 when he enigmatically tweeted "OO," a possible reference to Iniesta's number 8 jersey for Barcelona.
Iniesta, born in 1984 in Spain, announced the end of his career at Barcelona, a club where he played for 22 years, in an emotional press conference on April 27.
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