Javier Mascherano has dealt Barcelona a major blow by agreeing a three-year contract with Italian champions Juventus, according to reports in Spain.
Barcelona-based daily Sport report that Mascherano and the Serie A champions have reached a verbal agreement that will see the defender net a considerable raise in wages.
But the publication claim that Barcelona have no intention of selling Mascherano, who is a key part of Luis Enrique’s side.
Barcelona are known to be looking for a new first-team centre back. Mascherano has concerns that he could fall down the pecking order next season and the Daily Mail understands he could be tempted by a move away.
There is also a possibility that Mascherano would settle for an important squad role because of how settled his family are in Barcelona.
Barca’s summer transfer plans are in real danger of being thrown into chaos by the news that Mascherano wants to leave while Dani Alves is also considering quitting the club.
The Brazilian right back is unsure over his Nou Camp future and any delay in committing to the club could have a knock-on effect on their transfer business.
Mundo Deportivo report that uncertainty over the futures of Mascherano and Alves – two first-team defenders – is interrupting transfer plans.
They claim that Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez has already met with the club’s hierarchy to discuss the possibility of the break-up of Enrique’s back four.
The club are already in the market for two new defenders with Marc Bartra and Thomas Vermaelen set to leave during the summer window.