French defender Jeremy Mathieu finally returned to full fitness this week after more than two months of injury lay-off.
The experienced shot-stopper has nevertheless been excluded from Barcelona’s squad for the Wednesday’s match with Athletic Bilbao which sparked plenty of rumours regarding Mathieu’s future at Camp Nou.
The 33-year-old centre-back is the oldest player in the squad and is slowly falling behind in the pecking order for Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, who is relying on Gerrard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Samuel Umtiti which is the reason why Spanish press Mundo Deportivo claim that Mathieu is nearing an end of his time with the Catalans.
His contract expires in 2018, but the club are not planning on offering Mathieu an extension and are instead engaging in a search for a long-term solution at the back and a player with similar characteristics to Samuel Umtiti.
Jeremy Mathieu arrived in Barcelona in 2014 and has so far played 53 La Liga matches for his side.
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