Javier Mascherano has been linked with a return to Liverpool, but is hoping to head back to his roots at River Plate if he leaves Barcelona.

The experienced Argentina international remains under contract at Camp Nou until the summer of 2019.

He has, however, slipped behind Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti in the defensive pecking order under Ernesto Valverde and is currently weighing up his options.

Mascherano has admitted that he may be on the move in 2018, while also conceding that he could return to his homeland.

Reiterating that stance to

2° parte de la entrevista de @verobrunati con Mascherano: “Siempre dije que en mi cabeza está volver a #River en algún momento.” #TNTSportspic.twitter.com/CsDZtvFgRF

— TNT Sports LA (@TNTSportsLA) November 8, 2017″ target=”_blank”>TNT Sports, the 33-year-old admits that he already has a destination in mind, saying:  “I believe I need to give a chapter of my career to River Plate.

“My problem is this is not guaranteed and I could be a prisoner of my own words, if the move does not happen I may be accused of lying.

“But the truth is that this is what I have thought about, but I have a good relationship with the club’s president Rodolfo D’Onofrio and we speak regularly.

“My future has nothing to do with money, I used to make my own decisions but now they’re done by my family, I cannot forget my kids and their situation.

“What will I be doing in January or summer? I have no idea.”

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Mascherano is a product of River Plate’s academy system, but spent just two years with the club after breaking through into the senior set-up.

He has since taken in spells at Corinthians, West Ham, Liverpool and Barca and is fast closing in on 600 appearances at club level.

It has been suggested that he could be invited back to Anfield, as Jurgen Klopp seeks experienced reinforcements at the back, but Mascherano is seemingly keen to return to where it all began for him before the time comes to hang up his boots.

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