Javier Mascherano will leave Barcelona after seven and a half seasons at Camp Nou, the Catalan club have confirmed.
Argentina international Mascherano is expected to join Hebei China Fortune with a reported €10million ahead of the 2018 Chinese Super League season.
The Catalan club have put together an “institutional farewell” to honor the tough-tackling defender. This event will take place on Wednesday and president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the first-team squad are expected to be in attendance.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 23, 2018
Mascherano has not enjoyed enough playing time, since Ernesto Valverde’s appointment, with just 12 appearances in all competitions as he sits behind Gerard Pique, Thomas Vermaelen, and Samuel Umtiti in the pecking order at center-back.
With Yerry Mina arriving from Palmeiras this month, Barca has decided to let the versatile defender depart.
Mascherano joined Barca from Liverpool in 2010 and made 334 appearances, winning 18 titles during one of the most successful eras in the club’s history.
He won four La Liga titles and a pair of Champions League triumphs, though he did not score his first goal for the club until he was invited to take a penalty in the 7-1 thrashing of Osasuna in April of last year – his 319th outing for the Catalan giants.
Mascherano is only behind Lionel Messi, Phillip Cocu, and Dani Alves in terms of the number of appearances for the club.