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Barca confirm Mascherano deal

Barcelona have completed the signing of Javier Mascherano from Liverpool on a four-year deal.

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Barca had been interested in Mascherano, 26, last summer and the midfielder, who had been keen to leave Anfield for some time, was finally able to make the move after the clubs agreed a fee last week. Mascherano had refused to feature in Liverpool's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City days earlier.

Barca confirmed he had passed a medical on Monday morning and first-team doctor Ricard Pruna said the player is in peak condition. "It was an exhaustive medical that lasted around five hours," he told Barca TV. "He is in excellent condition and is physically great. His cardiovascular level is perfect and he is a player who has had very few injuries."

Having agreed a deal in principle for the contract on Friday, Barca announced on Monday evening that he had signed a four-year deal - with a significant pay-cut - and his release clause has been set at €90 million.

A message on Liverpool's site read: "Liverpool have confirmed they have completed the sale of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona."

Pep Guardiola has indicated that he does not view Mascherano solely as a defensive midfielder, and the Argentina captain does not feel he has been brought in as a like-for-like replacement for Yaya Toure.

"They've signed me for what I've done in the last few years," Mascherano said. "I'm not going to try and be similar to Toure, because I'm not, but I can give different things, neither better nor worse, but different.

"I'm a defensive player, but I can contribute other things. In my career I've played in other positions and whatever I'm needed to do I'll do it. The coach will decide."

He added: "It would be stupid if I thought I was going to play all the time. You need to respect the people here who have been doing so well. In my position there are three world champions who have won everything (Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta). For me, it is a dream to grow, learn and enjoy playing next to them."

He added: "It's a team full of great players, with a base of world champions, and I will try to be humble and help the team continue winning things.

"I'm going to have the chance to play with players who I admire and I will able to say that I've grown and that I've been a better player at this club. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I will train to be ready when I'm needed."

Barca's sporting vice-president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has now said that there are no plans for further signings this transfer window despite the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"The squad is now complete and we will not sign anyone else," he said. "We have reached the decision that there is no need to strengthen the team any further."

Meanwhile, Barcelona have confirmed that defender Martin Caceres has joined Sevilla on a season-long loan.

"As a young man you want to play," he said. "I thought about staying in Barcelona, but I wouldn't be playing as much as I wanted and now I hope I can play much more. I will do everything to defend this jersey and do as much as possible [for the team]."

The 23-year-old Uruguay international went out to Juventus last year.


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