Sometimes, the Silly Season spills over into the real one. Other times — like right now, for instance — a veritable Silly River bursts the levee and consumes us all in one big blaugrana deluge.
Yes, according to Spanish outlet Don Balon, New York City FC has been ready for a number of months to offer a “blank check” to Andres Iniesta in order to lure him away from the Nou Camp. In itself, this is not exactly news— NYCFC is famous for its big overtures to high-profile international stars, including former Barcelona star man Xavi. What’s notable here is that this rumor, after all this time, still isn’t dead.
Before we put together the parade and prepare to extend a laurel and hardy handshake, keep in mind that Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez fully expects Iniesta to re-up with the club “in his own time.” And practically speaking, don’t write home about Andrea Pirlo’s imminent retirement just yet. He’d have to vacate his designated player spot in order to sign a guy like Iniesta, but il Maestro’s style of play and consistent fitness probably permit him to play until he’s well into his forties. Big picture, it wouldn’t be easy to say goodbye to a titanic figure such as he.
But it’s fun to dream. Think about it: doesn’t a player like Andres Iniesta make a ton of sense in a three-man midfield alongside Maxi Moralez and a rugged destroyer like Alex Ring? In fact, he makes a lot more sense than Pirlo in the context of Patrick Vieira’s preferred philosophy.
And don’t underestimate the David Villa factor. As a longtime teammate of Iniesta’s with the Spanish National Team in addition to their famous linkups at Camp Nou, New York City has a wildcard in a potential race for the player’s services that basically no other team outside of Europe can match. Of course, any overseas star would rightly hold serious reservations about leaving the comforts of home to play in the United States, the land of turf fields and non-observance of FIFA international dates. But we’d never underestimate Guaje’s ability to sell his buddy on the joyous merits of balling in the Boroughs.
We won’t know much more until Iniesta settles — or doesn’t — on a new contract with Barcelona. After all, would you turn down the chance to keep playing with Messi, Suarez, and Neymar? The player’s path to Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly a straight line. Far from it.
But for now, the rumors continue to swirl. They’re still alive. And for the sake of (perhaps) childlike excitement, that’s good enough for us.