Juventus are in contact with Javier Mascherano over a summer transfer and the Argentine is ready to consider leaving
Mascherano would favour a more advanced role than the one he has been playing for Barca, and Juventus would offer the 31-year-old a midfield spot.
It is understood coach Luis Enrique blocked a transfer to Rafael Benitez’s Napoli two seasons ago and promised Mascherano he would play in midfield. However, the former Liverpool man has played most of his 280 plus games for Barca in defence due to a lack of alternatives in that position.
Luis Enrique’s side would not be happy about losing one of their most important players but would nonetheless welcome the opportunity to save money on their budget for the upcoming season – as well as facilitate the transfer of new players.
Kevin Gameiro leads the Barca short list but the Sevilla striker is currently out of their price range while a deal for Villarreal’s Denis Suarez is close.
Any transfer for Mascherano would also mean Barcelona entering the market for a central defender with Paris St-Germain’s Marquinhos the ideal candidate for Barca directors.
John Stones and Aymeric Laporte of Athletic Bilbao have also been identified as long-term targets but concerns over the recent form of the Everton man as well as the price of both mean they are destined to end up elsewhere – probably Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Italian champions Juventus are in the market for a midfielder due to the injury suffered by Claudio Marchisio with Valencia’s Andre Gomes and Roma’s Miralem Pjanic also tipped for summer arrivals.
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