As he has come to understand, Javier Mascherano is no longer first choice alongside Gerard Pique for Barcelona , and it’s for that reason that the Argentinian will look to leave the club in January.
When the important matches come around, Pique and Samuel Umtiti have become untouchable.
Mascherano wants and needs minutes, however, one thing is also very clear; he will not leave Barcelona by the back door.
He wants to finish his time at Catalonia with the same professionalism that has defined his career there.
If the club can find a solution in the form of an incoming transfer, they will leave the door open for the Argentinian, but if no centre-back of the appropriate level can be found, then it will be slammed shut.
The player, at least to this point, doesn’t want to force matters and would consider holding on until the summer.
In any event, the decision will be made in the coming weeks.
Ernesto Valverde is already looking at possible defensive options, and against Sporting he put Sergio Busquets alongside Thomas Vermaelen for half an hour.
For the next few matches he can only count on Pique and Vermaelen, though Mascherano will be ready to step in for El Clasico if needed.