Daily Archives: January 24, 2018

FC Barcelona confirms Javier Mascherano departure from the club

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FC Barcelona has confirmed that Javier Mascherano will leave the La Liga giants and is expected to join Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune.

Mascherano, 33, joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2010 for £17m after spells at West Ham, Corinthians and River Plate and will leave this week after almost eight years with the club.

The Argentinian featured in 334 games for the Catalan club and won 18 trophies at the Nou Camp, including four La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues albeit scoring just one goal.

However, he was not played as regularly under Ernesto Valverde who took charge of the club in the summer and made only 12 club appearances this season.

The centre-back will be given an official farewell on Wednesday, before playing at Barcelona’s Copa del Rey second-leg tie against Espanyol on Thursday to say goodbye to the fans.

After starting his career at River Plate, Mascherano had joined West Ham from Corinthians in 2006 along with teammate Carlos Tevez.

However, after just seven games for the Hammers, he joined Liverpool in 2007, initially in a loan deal that was turned into a four-year contract in 2008 for £18m.

He was also World Cup finalist, having played in the 2014 final as Argentina were beaten by Germany.

Inter Milan to recruit Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge on loan

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Inter Milan are the forerunners to recruit Daniel Sturridge on loan this month after making a formal proposal to secure the forward until the end of the season.

The Milan club has reportedly submitted a “serious” proposal to sign the 28-year-old until the end of the season, which includes a substantial loan fee, the full assumption of his salary and as well as a buying option.

Inter have also made it quite clear in their professional handling of matters that they are resolute in securing Sturridge’s services, which has encouraged the forward.

However, Sevilla has also put forth an enquiry regarding Sturridge’s availability but their interest is affected by their pursuit of Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea.

While there were indications that 24-year-old had seemed certain to switch to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for the rest of the campaign, but the London club’s difficulty in the transfer market is hampering that move .

While Blues boss Antonio Conte would want to bring in striker Andy Carroll before letting the Belgium international level, the West Ham player has suffered an ankle injury which complicates any attempt for a move.

Sturridge has been handed just five starts for Liverpool this season, and following a muscle issue as well as illness he has not featured in a matchday squad since the Reds won 7-0 over Spartak Moscow on December 6.

The former Chelsea and Manchester City player is desperate to secure regular minutes in order to make England’s World Cup squad, with West Ham and Southampton also monitoring his situation.

Liverpool, initially unwilling to allow a loan move for Sturridge, placed a £30 million valuation on the marksman. However, this could change after having only received approaches over a temporary arrangement thus far, as the Merseysiders are looking to settle on the best deal for the club and player before the window closes.

Pep Guardiola target Aymeric Laporte set to join Manchester City

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Aymeric Laporte has decided to leave Athletic Bilbao and join Manchester City this month although Premier League leaders will have to pay the Frenchman’s release clause after he informed the La Liga club that he wants to leave.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola is determined to bring in new faces before the end of the month and has opted to make a renewed attempt to secure Laporte after the French defender previously decided against a move to the Etihad Stadium in June 2016.

The Frenchman had also signed a four-year contract containing a release clause of €65m for two seasons, which is now believed to have risen to €70m but that has not put off City from contacting his agents this week to discuss a potential transfer.

As a result, Laporte has agreed a deal in principle to join City and has informed Athletic of his decision to leave before the end of the winter transfer window, with further developments expected on Wednesday.

It is believed Athletic will not be open to negotiations with any fee lower than Laporte’s buy-out clause, and City are willing to pay that amount in the coming days.

Laporte, 23, has already made almost 200 appearances for Bilbao since making his debut in 2012 but is yet to win a full cap for France.

City have also reportedly opened negotiations with Shakhtar Donetsk over a move for Fred, with the Ukrainian champions indicating they would be willing to sell the 24-year-old for €40m.

Although he mostly plays the role of a defensive midfielder, Fred can also assume the role of a left-back.

While he had also signed a five-year contract with Shakhtar earlier this month he is believed to be open to a move to the Premier League either this month or at the end of the season.