Barcelona’s president has spoken on the possible exit of Javier Mascherano, and because he did not deny it, it seems the rumors are true: the player wants to leave. Josep María Bartomeu told Argentine outlet La Nación that the club’s desire was to keep him, but that the team would “sit down and listen to the player.”
“I am the one who signed Mascherano in 2010,” Bartomeu said as well, adding, “I took the plane to find him at Liverpool.” That seems to suggest Bartomeu will try to convince the player to stay, but again, it’s quite clear that this isn’t just the product of rumors. Mascherano does indeed seem to be at least considering leaving, though some say his conviction is even stronger than that.
The looming signing of another defender, which would limit his playing time prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, is said to be the biggest factor for precipitating his departure.