• Centre-back will bid his farewell to the Nou Camp fans during the Copa del Rey derby against Espanyol.
  • La Liga giants have already signed Yerry Mina from Palmeiras to replace him.

Barcelona have confirmed the departure of Javier Mascherano with the Argentina international now expected to complete his proposed move to Hebei China Fortune in the coming days.

Mascherano has been a crucial player for the La Liga giants since moving to the Nou Camp from Liverpool in the summer of 2010, helping the Catalans to win two Champions Leagues, four La Liga titles and four Copa del Rey trophies.

The 33-year-old was an unmovable presence in the Barcelona's line-up during his first years at the club but he has seen his playing time restricted since the arrival of Samuel Umtiti during the summer of 2016.

Last month it emerged that the former Liverpool star had consequently asked the club to let him go this month in order to secure more regular time to increase his chances of playing in the World Cup.

Barcelona originally looked reluctant to lose him at mid-season but days later several reports in Spain claimed that they had agreed to sanction his departure to Hebei China Fortune in a deal worth around €10m (£8.8m, $12.3m).

It has been widely reported that Mascherano also has an agreement in place to move to the Chinese Super League outfit with Barcelona only waiting for Ernesto Valverde to have Samuel Umtiti back from a two-month spell on the sidelines to make the transfer official.

And after Umtiti made his return to action during the weekend's 5-0 victory over Real Betis the club have confirmed that Mascherano is set to leave the Nou Camp.

"Javier Mascherano is leaving FC Barcelona after seven and a half seasons. The Argentinian will be receiving an institutional farewell from the club on Wednesday at 11.00am CET in the Auditori 1899, at an event that will be streamed on the club website," the club confirmed though an official statement on Tuesday [23 January].

"It will be attended by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the first team squad."

Barcelona are yet to confirm Mascherano's next destination but different reports in Spain claim his move to Hebei China Fortune is now only a formality and could be made official on Friday [26 January].

Mascherano could detail the move during the Wednesday's [24 January] event but he is also expected to have a chance to bid his will farewell to the Nou Camp fans before the Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg tie against Espanyol on Thursday night [25 January].

Once the veteran defender completes his proposed move to Hebei China Fortune he will become the third player to leave Barcelona during the current January transfer window following the previous departures of Arda Turan to Istanbul Basaksehir and Rafinha Alcantara to Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, the Catalans have also made two additions this month in the form of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and Yerry Mina from Palmeiras, with the second expected to become the long-term replacement for Mascherano himself.

Javier Mascherano
Javier Mascherano is expected to complete a move to Hebei China Fortune in the coming days. Getty