Barcelona have been contacted by Serie A side AS Roma, over the potential transfer of Argentine defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano, according to Italian daily La Gazetta dello Sport.
AS Roma are keen on the signature of the 31-year-old with the midfielder said to be favoring a change of scenery having spent five-years with the club. The Giallorossi would need to cough up at-least a 15 million, for Barcelona to consider letting the Argentine leave Camp Nou for Stadio Olimpico, according to La Gazetta dello Sport.
Barcelona’s transfer embargo the stumbling block?
The versatile midfielder, would be interested with a move to AS Roma, however, Barcelona are unwilling to let the 31-year-old leave as they are currently not allowed to register any players, due to the transfer ban imposed on them, and as such would be unable to replace the Argentine. Manager Luis Enrique is reluctant to let any of his current players leave, till the transfer ban ends.
The report further suggests that Mascherano would be looking at an annual salary in the region of a 3.5 million after taxes, with add-ons. The Giallorossi see Mascherano as an integral part of their team, as they look to challenge Juventus’ monopoly in the Serie A.
However, a potential stumbling block exists in the form of the transfer embargo placed upon Barcelona which prevents any players from joining or leaving the Blaugrana until January 2016.
A coup for AS Roma, if they pull it off
At 31 years of age, a 15 million might seem like a lot of money, but for a versatile player of his quality and intelligence, who doesn’t solely rely on his pace, it may turn out to be an invaluable transfer for the Rome-based club. However, with the current transfer ban in place, it is unlikely Barcelona would let any member of the squad leave, let alone one of the most influential and consistent performers.
Mascherano is equally commanding as a defender or as a defensive midfielder, and his capture would lead to the potential exit of Italian defender Alessio Romagnoli, who is reportedly an AC Milan and Arsenal FC target.