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Javier Mascherano moves to Hebei China Fortune

And he took the silliest New York Red Bulls’ silly season rumor with him

Barcelona v Espanyol - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Miquel Llop/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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:

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.

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.