​Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has reportedly tipped his national compatriot Javier Mascherano for a spectacular return to Liverpool, seven-years since he switched Anfield for Camp Nou. 

The 33-year-old defender's decorated time at Barcelona is entering its final months as he is expected to be allowed to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season, with the Spanish giants understood to have identified Colombia's Yerry Mina as his replacement.

Unirea Urziceni v Liverpool - UEFA Europa League

Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and the MLS have been rumoured as Mascherano's next destination as his game time under boss Ernesto Valverde looks set to be reduced, as he begins his transformation of the Barcelona squad. 

Mascherano was a popular figure at Anfield during his three-and-a-half year spell and according to ​Diario Gol, Messi is fearing the departure of another of his closest friends, with Liverpool said to be a possible destination due to his emotional connection with the club. 

Given his glittering career, Mascherano has gained the attention of a number of clubs and speaking on international duty with Argentina this week, the 33-year-old hinted that his time at Barcelona could be up following next summer's World Cup in Russia. 

He told ​TyC Sports: "The focus is to be happy and the decision I make will depend on how things are going.

"In Barcelona, it is obvious I am not playing at the frequency I played before. I'm still playing, I'm still competing, I'm in a team where every game I play is because I earn it in training, but it's clear there are many times you want to play more.

"I'm not saying that I have to play more, because the starters are two players of the highest level and there is not much more to do there."