Barcelona stalwart Javier Mascherano is reportedly set to leave the club this summer, although there are two options on the table for him.
The 32-year-old has won it all with the Catalan giants since arriving at the Nou Camp in 2010, while he’s collected 136 caps for Argentina in a glittering career.
Having won four La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies amongst many other pieces of silverware in his time in Spain, he has been a pivotal figure in the Barca squad for almost seven years and his exit will undoubtedly be considered a heavy loss.
However, according to Don Balon, it looks as though the situation is heading that way as despite recently signing a contract renewal, it’s widely accepted that he’s on his way out of the club.
Mascherano has made no secret of his desire to play for River Plate again, the club where it all started for him at youth level in 1999, while he left Argentina in 2005.
While that remains the sentimental option, the report adds that a lucrative move to China could come first for the experienced and versatile Argentine, and after he’s cashed in and enjoyed a short stint there, he will then return to his homeland.
It seems like a pretty sensible plan from Mascherano, and it’s added that the fact that he was given the opportunity to score his first Barcelona goal from the penalty spot against Osasuna last month was another huge indication that this could be his last season at the club.
Naturally, it will be a significant loss for the squad. However, with Luis Enrique’s successor set to be announced ahead of next season, changes are arguably needed at Barcelona even though they remain in the hunt for a domestic double this season.