Javier Mascherano is set to leave Barcelona in the next transfer window, as Chinese club Hebei Fortune accelerated the negotiations with the Catalans.
The 33-year-old Argentinian initially refused to leave the club this summer, but the lack of playing time has made him change his mind. According to ESPN, Hebei Fortune’s representatives traveled to Barcelona and reached an agreement with the club. The Catalans will receive €10m for Mascherano, whose contract with the club runs until 2019.
Mascherano is looking to secure a spot in Argentina’s World Cup squad for the tournament that will take place in Russia next summer. The lack of playing time on Camp Nou has made him decide to move on a try a new challenge.
The player’s agent, Walter Tamer, already held discussions with the Chinese officials and an agreement has been reached regarding personal terms as well. According to ESPN, Mascherano will receive €19m for two years of contract with Habei Fortune.
Barcelona have moved fast and already found a potential replacement for Mascherano. Yerri Mina from Palmeiras is the player wanted on Camp Nou to replace ‘El Jefecito’. The 23-year-old Brazilian would be available for around €9m.