Javier Mascherano is leaving Barcelona for the Chinese Super League, according to report from Argentina.
La Nacion claim the Barca defender will sign for Hebei Fortune – ending speculation he could make a sensational return to Anfield.
Diario Gol reported last month that a return to Liverpool could be on the cards for the 33-year-old, who has been a bit-part player for Barca this season.
He has made only five La Liga starts and is currently missing through injury, but he has decided to move on to make sure he goes to the World Cup with Argentina next summer.
La Nacion correspondent, Fernando Czyz sais on Twitter: “Javier Mascherano is a new player of China’s Hebei Fortune.
“There was an agreement with Barcelona and his buyer and the Argentinian… leaves behind one of the best clubs in the world.”
AHORA SÍ, CONFIRMADO: Javier Mascherano es nuevo jugador del Hebei Fortune de China: hubo acuerdo con Barcelona y su comprador y el argentino cambia para buscar minutos de titularidad; deja atrás a uno de los mejores clubes del mundo
— Fernando Czyz (@fczyz) December 18, 2017
Mascherano made his decision to leave Barcelona before Samuel Umtiti sustained an injury and even though Barca wanted the veteran to reconsider his decision, Mascherano is heading to Asia.
Barca are believed to have an an option to sign Colombia international Yerry Mina for €9million next summer, while they have also been heavily linked with Ajax’s 18-year old defender Matthijs de Ligt.
Mascherano recently admitted his time at Liverpool was special, even though is spell ended on a sour note after fa lling out with Roy Hodgson in 2010.
“I think that my stage here is ending,” Mascherano recently told ESPN. “It makes sense that after such a long time there’s not much more I can do in this club. I’m not saying it with a heavy heart. I’ve had the best years of my career in this club. I’ll never forget it.”