According to Catalan sports newspaper Sport, the transfer has been agreed; Javier Mascherano is becoming a Hebei Fortune player for a single year, even though there is a clause in his contract that could keep him there for two more seasons.
The Argentine is expected to play his last game for the Blaugrana against Celta, in their Copa del Rey match, the return leg of the 1-1 draw in Vigo last week.
According to the report, the two clubs agreed on a fee of 10 million euros, even though the Chinese club did their best to convince Barcelona to accept no more than 5.8 million. Paying more than that, means that Hebei will have to pay a hefty ‘fine’ to China’s FA, equal to the cost of the transfer, in accordance with the new rules imposed in the country recently.
It is still unclear if the two sides found a way to… bypass this obstacle, or if Hebei simply agreed to meet Barcelona’s 10m demand, knowing that the transfer would end up costing them double.
Mascherano is said to have already announced to his teammates and coach his decision to leave the club, and against Celta he is expected to bid the fans goodbye as well, ending a long and very successful spell at Camp Nou.