Javier Mascherano on verge of leaving Barcelona to join Chinese team Hebei Fortune

Javier Mascherano could become the latest European star to move to Chinese side Hebei Fortune are lining up a January transfer for the Barcelona player.

Spanish news publication Sport has claimed that the Argentinian could fly out to the Far East next month and join the Chinese Super League side with the promise of huge wage package.

The former Liverpool star has found himself on the periphery of Barca’s senior side under new boss Ernesto Valverde this season, and has since stated that he will leave the Catalan giants in the winter window in search of regular first-team football.

Mascherano’s desire to leave the La Liga side has piqued the interest of Hebei, who are reportedly willing to triple his salary to around €4.5m-a-season and cut short his current Barca deal by 18 months.

He has featured in 10 matches for the current La Liga leaders this season, but a muscle injury and repeated time on the bench have led the defensive midfielder to consider his future away from Camp Nou.

The Argentinian is believed to have held talks with current teammate Paulinho about the Chinese Super League, and has been boosted by the Brazilian’s tales of what he can earn in Asia.

A regular playing time at Hebei would also allow him the chance to prove his fitness and quality ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia, with Mascherano only having one more chance to lift the international trophy with his country.

His exit from the club would also mean Barcelona freeing up some wages to pursuit January targets as they look to tighten their grip on Spain’s top flight too, and the move would prove to be beneficial for all parties involved.

Mascherano joined Barcelona from Liverpool – a club he was linked with again recently – for £18m in August 2010, and has appeared over 330 times during his seven-year spell with them.

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Kazeem Olawale, 24-year old sports writer. Avid Arsenal and Celtic fan Lover of the Serie A and La Liga. Enjoys American sports. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter