Javier Mascherano will leave Barcelona this week and complete a move to the Chinese Super League. The Argentine will become Barcelona's fifth January transfer following the arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina and the departures of Arda Turan and Rafinha.
The Argentine defender is expected to join Manuel Pellegrini's Hebei Fortune in the Far East after eight years in the Catalan capital. Mascherano made the decision to leave after falling down the pecking order under Ernesto Valverde this season.
The 33-year-old has made seven appearances in the La Liga owing to the manager's preference for Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti as his first choice centre-back pairing, while he has also struggled with minor muscle injuries. The Argentina international is back training with the first-team, but is expected to leave before the end of the ongoing January transfer window.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Mascherano has an agreement in place to join Fortune in the Chinese Super League and Barcelona have accepted his request to leave the club this month. The report claims that the club have planned a farewell for the veteran defender, who has amassed 14 trophies in his eight years with the club.
The planned goodbye to the players and the fans is expected to happen ahead of their Copa del Rey second leg match against Espanyol on Thursday (25 January). The report also claims that Mascherano could return to the club in a coaching capacity in the future, having begun taking his coaching badges with the club.
Meanwhile, Aleix Vidal remains another player Barcelona want to sell during the current transfer window, but are unable to agree a deal with his former club Sevilla, who remain keen to re-sign him. The Catalan giants value the right-back at €15m (£13m, $18m) including add-ons, but the Andalusian club are looking at a six-month loan with an option to buy at the end of the campaign for €8m including add-ons.
The Camp Nou outfit are not budging from their valuation and are willing to explore interest from other clubs, but Sevilla, who are desperate for a right full back are aware that Vidal is their best option at the moment. The 28-year-old has failed to fulfil his potential since arriving at the Catalan capital in 2015.
According to Spanish daily Marca, Barcelona are keen to complete the deal before the end of the January transfer window and are said to be open to a six-month loan deal with an obligation to buy in the summer for their valuation.