Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has discussed the future of the club and believes that the current era of success is coming to an end.
The Argentine defender is said to be leaving the Catalan club in January after dropping to the bench this season.
Excellent form from French defender Samuel Umtiti has seen Mascherano’s place alongside Gerard Pique diminish and with his contract due to expiry next summer; the former Liverpool man is looking for a cheap exit in the winter months.
Barca, however, are keen to keep him at the club after an injury to Umtiti, which will keep him out of action until the end of January.
Catalan daily Sport report on Tuesday morning that Mascherano’s future is now very much high on the club’s agenda.
Speaking on his future in an interview with El Grafico, the Argentine international discussed the club’s recent successes.
“Barca’s period of success is coming to an end, I am certain,” he said.
“It is not over yet but I know this will soon be over, as happens to every top club and successful cycle of players, it does not last forever.
“I believe I know when it will be over, but I am not telling you that!”
Following on from the injury to Umtiti, the defender is expected to miss around 14 games for the Catalan side, who currently sit top of the La Liga table.
Aspas’ opener on Saturday was cancelled out by Lionel Messi, before Luis Suarez would give Barca the lead – however, a comeback from Juan Carlos Unzue’s side which saw Maxi Gomez score, ensured the points were shared and two points were dropped by the hosts.
With injuries to Mascherano and Umtiti; Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has just Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen as his recognised central defenders.
Barca B defender David Costas could be called up for back-up.