Javier Mascherano admits Barcelona end is near

Javier Mascherano admits Barcelona end is near

Javier Mascherano believes Barcelona's period of dominance across Spain and Europe is coming to an end.

Samuel Umtiti is set for two months on the sidelines while Javier Mascherano - who reportedly wants to leave the club - is also injured, leaving Thomas Vermaelen and Gerard Pique as the only fit central defenders.

Mascherano himself is also now sidelined with a hamstring injury, while former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has endured a series of injury problems since joining Barca in 2014.

The Argentine has only started five La Liga matches this term, and has suggested that he will look to seek pastures new following the completion of the 2017-18 season.

"After so long it is clear I don't have much more to give to the club in the future", Mascherano told ESPN Deportes. I'm not saying it with a heavy heart.

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'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'm one of those people that thinks that you have to know when is the right time to end a stage".

"These questions emerge when there are injuries, there's always talk but, in principle, we're happy with the centre-backs we have got".

And Valverde raised the possibility that midfielder Sergio Busquets or left-back Lucas Digne could be called on as auxiliary centre-back options.

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