There's no going back. Javier Mascherano will not end the season at Barcelona. The decision has been taken and the player's been given the necessary guarantees from the club that they will allow him to close a move to Chinese side Hebei Fortune.
The operation will become a reality in the coming days regardless of whether or not Hebei Fortune improve their offer to Barça. President Bartomeu and general manager Segura have told Mascherano as much.
After understanding that his desire was so strong to leave -- he already tried in the summer -- they felt he had earned the right to choose when he moves on from Camp Nou.
Barça will receive around €6 million for the Argentine international, who will sign a deal worth €7m per year in China.
But the debate is still not closed on Mascherano's successor. On one side, there's Yerry Mina. There's a deal in place to sign him next summer for €9m which could be brought forward to January.
However, Palmeiras may demand more money and the player may not adapt to La Liga immediately. They're the two reasons for doubts, but Segura is a big fan of his signing.
Others would prefer a more experienced signings, someone more familiar with La Liga and the big European competitions. Not necessarily a star name, but someone who can fill in when there are injuries and suspensions.