Barcelona stalwart Javier Mascherano was confirmed to have moved to Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune on Wednesday, January 24.
As it happened, this was about 24 hours after one insistent Twitterist had invested time and effort trying to rally support for one of this silly season’s silliest notions:
New York Red Bulls are looking to make Mascherano their DP for the upcoming season to sure up their leaking defense. Personal terms are yet to be agreed. Mascherano is thought to favor a move to the MLS and in particular New York. More on this tonight on @FOXDeportes— Islam Bakaseyhir (@IslamNavixNews) January 23, 2018
Mascherano is just about everything the New York Red Bulls don’t want at this moment in their history: over-30 and schooled in a playing style - Barca’s famous tiki-taka - to which RBNY’s RalfBall could arguably be described as the opposite.
Efforts to steer the rumor-mongerer back to more sensible terrain were rebuffed.
The player has many offers on the table including several from the MLS which he is said to be pondering. China has some appeal but it should not be ruled out that he will be making the switch to New York come the end of this week. NYRB has given him a bumper contract offer.— Islam Bakaseyhir (@IslamNavixNews) January 24, 2018
Ridiculous question. I am reporting on the information given to me by sources close to the Argentinians camp, whether he will go to China, Liverpool or the MLS remains to be seen.— Islam Bakaseyhir (@IslamNavixNews) January 25, 2018
It wasn’t a rumor without precedent, to be fair. Back in October, it was reported Mascherano was eyeing a move to MLS, with destinations like China and Qatar explicitly ruled out.
But times change. And Mascherano’s camp might presumably have been aware that he had agreed his deal to move to China in December, 2017.