Barcelona star player Andres Iniesta's joining of Chongqing Lifan is in doubt as the Chinese club declared they would not pay Iniesta an enormously high price to sign him on Tuesday.
"Cooperating with Iniesta does not mean he will join our club as a player," Lifan said.
There are rumors that the Spanish veteran midfielder will join Chongqing Lifan club after he announced his leave of Barcelona at the end of the season last month. But Chinese media reported on Monday that Iniesta will not join Lifan on millions of euros, but will get involved in the club's youth training program as a club partner.
However, the Lifan club has not given clear answers to media's speculations, but stated their concerns and inclination on possible cooperation with the Barca captain.
The club said they always advocate rational investment and will never put up huge dollars for signing foreign players. The club says it supports the healthy development of Chinese football, a nod to its willingness to respond to China's clampdown on heavy transfer spending.
The club, based in Chongqing municipality, insisted they will always focus on homegrown talent. "We aim to foster more future elites for our city and country as always," Lifan added, stressing that the club will never violate the Chinese Football Association's rules.
Lifan also suggested a more feasible way of connecting with Iniesta, saying they will not rule out that in the future there may be more in-depth cooperation between the two sides for marketing purposes, but this does not mean Iniesta will play for the club.
At present, the club works with Iniesta in the sports industry sector under its shareholding company.
So, will the 33-year-old Spanish international come to Chongqing or not? Lifan has never made that quite clear.