Javier Mascherano is to move to China after seven and a half years at LaLiga giants Barcelona, it has been confirmed.
The 33-year-old, signed from Liverpool in summer 2010, is to join Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune, who are currently managed by former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Mascherano: "I feel privileged"
Speaking at a farewell event held by the club following the announcement of his January departure, Mascherano said: "I feel privileged. That the people you work with on a daily basis value you so is the best gift and motivation".
He made 334 appearances for the Blaugrana, helping the Catalans to a trophy haul that includes four LaLiga titles, four Copas del Rey and two Champions Leagues.
Mascherano, capped 141 times by Argentina, had fallen down the defensive pecking order this season, serving as head coach Ernesto Valverde's fourth-choice centre-back behind Gerard Piqué, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen.
Mina fills void left by departing Mascherano
His place in the Barcelona squad will be taken by Yerry Mina, who joined from Palmeiras during the mid-season transfer window.
"I have to face reality - I'm no longer the player I once was..." Mascherano just about kept it together as he bid Barça farewell and gave a great speech https://t.co/hLyxrSQAsl #GraciesMasche #GraciasMascherano pic.twitter.com/rvkj07dNSJ— AS English (@English_AS) 24 January 2018
- Hebei China Fortune FC