Barcelona have come to an agreement with Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune for the transfer of Javier Mascherano.
The Argentinian midfielder-turned-defender is finally set to leave the Nou Camp after a highly successful stint – since arriving from Liverpool in 2010, the 33-year-old has won four La Liga titles, four Copas del Rey, three Supercopas de Espana and two Champions Leagues.
The fee in question is interesting – the clubs had been haggling with Barca not wanting to accept anything less than €10m and Hebei reluctant to exceed €5.77m.
They arrived at that particular figure because the Chinese Football Association announced last June that any club in the country’s top two divisions making a loss and paying more than €5.77m for a foreign player has to put that same amount into a CFA youth development fund – if the report from Goal is to be believed then evidently Hebei had no desire to do this.
The CFA made its voice heard on Tuesday by issuing a strong reminder to clubs regarding its transfer policy, amid stories that Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan are locked in a battle to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Mascherano will join up with compatriot Ezequiel Lavezzi and former Arsenal winger Gervinho at Hebei, where he will rake in €7m-per-year.
The move signifies Mascherano moving into the final stages of his career following a fruitful period in Spain.
In recent times the former Corinthians star has been playing less and less for Barca, with Samuel Umtiti emerging as a fine prospect in central defence for the Blaugrana alongside Gerard Pique.