Barcelona transfer news: Hazard-Dembele swap deal, Vidal eyes reunion and more, 24th January 2018

Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League
Hazard-Dembele swap deal?

Chelsea plotting to swap Eden Hazard with Ousmane Dembele

Dembele has been struggling with injuries ever since he joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in the summer for a stunning €105 million plus another €40 million in add-ons. The Frenchman was brought in to replace the departing Neymar who joined Paris Saint-Germain.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard is yet to sign a contract extension at Chelsea with only two years remaining on his current one. Now, Spanish news outlet, Don Balon reports that the London club are looking to swap the Belgian with Dembele in the summer. The Blues no.10 is of interest to Real Madrid and is not renewing his contract due to his desire to play for Los Blancos, as per the report.

Thus, Chelsea are looking at other options in case the Champions League holders do not bid for the player. Meanwhile, Barcelona will have a tricky situation to deal with if Hazard is offered to them as a swap deal with Dembele. The latter is one of the best young talents in Europe and is yet to receive a sustained run of games to prove his worth.

However, Hazard has been the lynchpin for Chelsea's success in recent years and will enable the Blaugrana to become an even stronger unit should a deal be completed.

Javier Mascherano and Rafinha seal moves away from Camp Nou

Real Sociedad de Futbol v FC Barcelona - La Liga
The dream is over for Mascherano

Mascherano completed his transfer to Chinese Super League side, Hebei China Fortune, with the official Barcelona account stating:

"FC Barcelona and Hebei China Fortune FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Javier Mascherano, who will join the Chinese club from 26 January."

The club threw a farewell ceremony for the Argentine, where the 33-year old struggled to hold back his tears and said:

"If anyone has been fortunate, it has been me. Seven and a half years ago, I came here to live a dream. And now it’s time to wake up. The dream is over. It lasted longer than I ever would have imagined. But the time came to say goodbye, and leaving with all this love is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone.”

Joining him in the exit door was Rafinha, who joined Inter Milan on loan with the Serie A side having the option to sign the Brazilian permanently in the summer. The 24-year old spoke about the move to Inter TV and said:

"I’m really happy, it’s a great feeling to be here. It’s an important stage in my life and I had a lot of desire to approach this new phase in my career. There have been a lot of important players at Inter who have made history. I want to do my best and give everything to finish as high as possible and win titles with this shirt." 

Thus, Barcelona continue to trim the wage bill with the arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina making up the numbers for Rafinha and Mascherano respectively.

Aleix Vidal looking to reunite with Monchi at Roma

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Vidal could reunite with Monchi

The duo worked earlier at Sevilla where Monchi served as the sporting director, a position which he currently holds at Italian side AS Roma. Now, Vidal's agent, Graziano Battistini, has confirmed that talks are underway for a reunion. Battistini told :

"Roma are Roma and Vidal would be willing to take an eventual offer from Roma into serious consideration. Contact with Monchi has continued and we are in the initial stages of what could become negotiations."
"We're not yet in serious talks, but if the Roma sporting director really wants him, we're ready to listen."

Thus, a move to Italy could be on the cards for Vidal who has failed to kick on at Camp Nou and is now surplus to requirements in Ernesto Valverde's side. Further, the presence of Monchi makes this a good move for the 28-year old to resurrect his career while Barcelona can continue to trim their wage bill as they rebuild.

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Edited by Amit Mishra
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