Javier Mascherano dismisses talk of leaving Barcelona for Chinese League
Javier Mascherano has rejected the prospect of leaving Barcelona and wants to see out his contract at the club.
The Chinese Super League has already spent around £200 million on players this season and has reportedly set its eyes on Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano. Various reports in the media have suggested a possible move for the Argentinean to an unnamed Chinese club who are willing to offer him €50m in salary.
However, according to reports in Spanish media outlet, Football Espana, Mascherano has instructed his agent Walter Tamer not to even listen to any offers from Chinese clubs.
The Argentine was a transfer target for Italian giants Juventus in the summer, but he rejected the uncertainty surrounding his future by signing a new contract with the Spanish club.
The Chinese Super League has attracted several quality players from across the world thanks to the large sums of money thrown at these players. Italy’s Graziano Pelle and Argentina’s Ezequiel Lavezzi are the latest ones to join the cash-rich league.
Signed new contract earlier in the year
The former Liverpool player signed a new three-year contract with the Catalans earlier this year.
According to Diario Sport, Mascherano is extremely happy at the club and wishes to see out his deal, which runs out in 2019.
The Argentine has been at the club since 2010 and has become an important member of the side.
Tax evasion issues
At the time, the Argentine was disturbed by Barcelona’s lack of support when he encountered tax problems with the Spanish authorities.
Mascherano was handed a one-year prison sentence in January for evading tax payment in Spain and was also fined €800,000 for failing to pay taxes for the years 2011 and 2012. Luckily for the club and the player, he may not have to serve time in jail.
At the time, Mascherano released a statement via the club’s website clarifying, “I’m a sporting professional, I don’t have a great understanding of tax and legal matters. Therefore, to deal with what are for me technical and complicated matters, I have to rely on other people”
An important player for Barca
Initially signed as a defensive pivot, he was reinvented as a center back under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, who prefers building attacks from the back. Over the years, his stupendous performances at the heart of the Barca defence have helped the likes of Pique and Alba flourish.
His experience at the back has also helped Sergio Busquets function in a calmer manner in the pivot role in midfield. The recent arrival of Samuel Umtiti has restricted the playing time of Mascherano, but he still continues to demand the same importance at the club.
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