Javier Mascherano has agreed to leave Barcelona and will quit the club on January 31st to move to China, according to reports coming out of Spain.
According to TV3, the club and the player have reached an agreement that he will depart at the end of January, by which time Samuel Umtiti should be fit again.
Mascherano will sign for Chinese Super League side Hebei Fortune as he wants to play more regularly before the World Cup.
While Barca are reluctant to let him leave, it seems they will not stand in his way and can at least reduce the wage bill.
However, Mascherano’s departure will leave Barcelona with just three senior centre-backs: Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen and a winter signing now looks likely.