Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano is set to leave the Catalans this month after spending seven and a half seasons at the Nou Camp with a move to China set to be on the cards. The La Liga leaders have officially declared that the Argentine will leave the club this month and is expected to move abroad with a €10m transfer to Hebei China Fortune being reported by the Spanish media. The 33-year-old will be given a grand farewell on Wednesday, with president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Barcelona first-team squad set to be present during the ceremony.
The Argentine defender has fallen down the pecking order following the appointment of Ernesto Valverde last year, having made just 12 appearances in all competitions this season. The trio of Gerard Pique, Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti are all ahead of him in the pecking order at the Nou Camp. The arrival of Yerry Mina earlier this month from Palmeiras indicated that Mascherano will be given a chance to leave in order to reignite his career by playing regular first-team football abroad,
With the impending departure of Mascherano, let’s take a look at three potential replacements for Ernesto Valverde to consider in this winter transfer window.
The West Bromwich Albion defender has been monitored by a whole host of clubs in recent weeks. Barcelona would do well to prize him away from the Hawthorns. The 30-year-old has featured in 22 matches for the Baggies and has been a rock at the back for Alan Pardew’s men. He has found the back of the net two times so far this season which shows that he has a knack for scoring important goals. Although Evans is not as technical as other players, he will be a perfect fit for the Catalans going into the future.
The AS Monaco defender has been in terrific form in Ligue 1 in this campaign. He has featured in 31 matches for the French club this season and has scored 3 goals while making 4 assists. Glik will be an ideal addition to play under Ernesto Valverde at the Nou Camp and at 29, the Polish centre-back still has a good few years left in him.
The AS Roma defender has a wealth of experience in the Premier League, Serie A as well as the La Liga. The 30-year-old has featured in 23 matches for the Italian club, scoring a goal and providing 2 assists in this campaign across all competitions. If given the chance, he can shine under Ernesto Valverde’s guidance at Barcelona.
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