By 90Min
January 20, 2018

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Hebei Fortune will tie up a deal for outgoing Barcelona star Javier Mascherano in the coming days.

The Argentine was quoted by Marca as he revealed that his compatriot would be heading to the Far East to join the Chinese Super League club in the near future.

Mascherano is on the verge of leaving the Catalan giants over a lack of regular minutes under Ernesto Valverde this term, despite Barcelona's reluctance to allow him to leave.

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Pellegrini, though, insisted that the 33-year-old would move to China as soon as possible as he admitted to be being 'very interested' in the former West Ham and Liverpool player.

He said: "The plan is that he comes. We have to see his situation at Barcelona, but he is a player that I am very interested in.

"I was the one who gave him his debut with River Plate. Mascherano is a leader and I think he would be very good for my team in the Chinese Super League."

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Hebei Fortune hope that Mascherano will complete his switch to China before Pellegrini takes his squad on a pre-season training camp to Marbella in February.

The 141-times capped international has made just 12 appearances for La Blaugrana this season with a muscle injury and Valverde's preference to play Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique the main causes behind his lack of game time.

The arrival of Yerry Mina has further reduced Mascherano's chances of featuring regularly for Barca ahead of this summer's World Cup, and he has opted to take his future into his own hands and leave Camp Nou.

Meanwhile, Pellegrini has commented on Brazilian midfielder Paulinho and how he has settled into life at Barcelona.

The ex-Guangzhou Evergrande star joined Barca last summer and has bedded in well in Catalonia, and Pellegrini believes that Barca have performed something of a coup by securing his services.

The ex-Manchester City manager added: "I am not surprised, I knew he was going to do well. I already knew him from Tottenham. I'm not surprised by his success in Spain."

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