Barcelona Officially Agrees on Javier Mascherano Fee

Sean Hartnett@HartnettWFANCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2010

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 03: Javier Mascherano captain of Argentina, directs his team mates during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Argentina and Germany at Green Point Stadium on July 3, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Disgruntled Liverpool midfielder is close to getting his wish to join Catalan giants, Barcelona, for a fee of £16m, potentially rising to £22m. 

The 26-year-old defensive midfielder pressed hard for a move to Barca as far back as last summer, and now will be on his way to the Camp Nou. Mascherano had cited family and cultural reasons for wanting to leave Anfield.

Liverpool's official website has released a statement regarded the Javier Mascherano transfer:

"Liverpool Football Club have agreed terms for the transfer of Javier Mascherano to FC Barcelona."

The Spanish club have now been given permission to speak to the Argentina midfielder.

Sky Sports News reports that the initial fee will be £16 million with a further £6m in add-ons. The Reds were said to be holding out for a higher figure, but as the transfer window's end nears, the club had to agree a fee to fund manager Roy Hodgson's plans.

Barcelona already have a deeply talented group of central midfielders in Xavi Hernandez, Andreas Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Seydou Keita.

The addition of the combative defensive midfielder Mascherano to a team that boasts many members of the World Cup winning Spanish national team surely puts them well ahead of title rivals Real Madrid.

World Cup hero David Villa was previously recruited his summer and Mascherano was the final piece needed to assemble what looks like on paper to be a squad without any weakness.

Barcelona's official website released the following statement:

"FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Javier Mascherano to the club for the next four seasons."

"The deal was closed after intensive efforts made by the club in the final hours and through the player himself in the negotiations."

"Barcelona will report the details of the operation once the player passes the medical and the transfer is concluded."

"It is hoped Javier Mascherano will arrive in Barcelona this weekend."