Barcelona and Javier Mascherano have reportedly reached an agreement that will let the Argentine star leave the Camp Nou and complete a switch to China in the January transfer window.
According to Spanish publication Marca, the two parties have reached an agreement that will pave for the way for the exit of the former Liverpool from the Catalan club for a fee of around €10m (£8.8m, $11.8m).
The 33-year-old has only started in five league games this season and has dropped down Ernesto Valverde's pecking order. Lack of playing time and importance at the club convinced the player to leave the club after this calendar year.
Under Barcelona's deal to let Mascherano leave the club midway through the season, the defender will continue with Valverde's side until Samuel Umtiti recovers from injury. The France international picked up a hamstring injury in his side's league clash against Celta Vigo earlier in December.
Umtiti is set to be out of action for eight weeks and will miss the El Clasico against Real Madrid on 23 December. The centre-back has been an integral part of the former Athletic Bilbao manager's back four and his absence will be a blow to Barcelona.
Sport claims the versatile South American star, who can play in the defence or midfield, will make a switch to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune. They are managed by former Real and Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Mascherano had earlier expressed his unhappiness over the lack of playing time under Valverde. He also stressed that not feeling important at the club was one of the major reasons for his decision to leave his current employers.
"It was some time ago that I mentioned within the club that the situation I have to live through is nobody's fault, but simply a reality," Mascherano was quoted by Spanish publication Marca.
"It cannot be denied. I lost the importance I'd had in previous years. You need to look for happiness and for a path that makes you feel complete and important in what you're doing."
He had already revealed his desire to leave Barcelona in January, but his decision was hastened by a big money offer from Hebei China Fortune. However, Mascherano will have to wait until Umtiti recovers from injury before completing a move to China.