Andres Iniesta insists the €160 million arrival of Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona will not “make me retire or kick me out”.
The La Liga giants have spent big during the current transfer window, with a transfer record smashed to land Ousmane Dembele over the summer broken again to bring in another creative influence.
Coutinho has been acquired from Liverpool to nail down a regular role in the present, but he is also considered to be a long-term successor to World Cup winner Iniesta.
The long-serving 33-year-old Barca skipper is aware of such talk but maintains that another quality addition has been made to complement him in Ernesto Valverde’s plans, not replace him.
Iniesta told Onda Cero on Coutinho’s arrival in Catalunya: “I’m a player for this club and I’ve always said that only the best can play for this club.
“That makes Coutinho one of the best. He’s young and he has an innate talent, while Barcelona are a club where he can keep growing.
“There will never be a player that can make me retire or kick me out of here. At 33 years of age, that isn’t the issue. Coutinho has come here to improve us.”