Javier Mascherano - Argentina - playing ball in Copa America Centenario
USA Today Sports

Report: FC Barcelona's Javier Mascherano aiming for 2018 move to MLS

One of FC Barcelona’s key veterans is ready to trade life at one of the world’s biggest clubs for a taste of Major League Soccer, according to a Spanish media report.

Argentinean international Javier Mascherano would like to join an MLS team at the conclusion of Barça’s current season, Barcelona-based publication Sport reported on Friday. It’s no done deal, as he’s yet to agree to terms with anyone on this side of the Atlantic, but after his seven-plus years of dedicated service, Barça are apparently willing to let him go despite his current contract reportedly running until 2019.

“Mascherano has told Barcelona he does not want to go to China, Qatar or other exotic locations to earn a super-wage,” writes Sport’s Tomàs Andreu. “His desire is clear. If a franchise in the USA meets his demands, Barcelona will let him go. In the opposite case, he will continue at the club. Open doors and absolute willingness to comply with a player who has given his all to the club.”

A rugged yet cerebral personality capable of playing both center back and holding midfield, Mascherano has helped Barcelona win four La Liga titles, four Copas del Rey, two UEFA Champions League and two FIFA Club World Cup trophies in his time at the club, and also played on the Argentina side that finished as runners-up in the 2014 World Cup. But he has found his playing time decreased thus far this season and would like to find more regular minutes at a new destination.

A 2018 move to MLS would take place after the World Cup in Russia, becoming official during the midsummer transfer window.

MLS has been home to several Barça alumni over the years, including Thierry Henry, David Villa and Toronto FC’s Victor Vazquez.  

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