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La Liga Latest (Barcelona): Defender hunt set to end with Murillo loan

La Liga Latest (Barcelona): Defender hunt set to end with Murillo loan

Barcelona are closing in on a loan deal for Valencia defender Jeison Murilo, according to various reports.

With injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen, the Catalan club have had no option but to look at the transfer market and look for a suitable replacement to come in and provide cover for Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet.

Various targets have been linked via English, Spanish and Italian press which include Juventus defender Daniele Rugani and former Premier League duo Branislav Ivanovic and Martin Skrtel.

But, it now seems that bosses at the club have decided on Colombian international Murillo, who has been in and out of the Valencia side due to various injury problems over the last 12 months.

The 26-year-old is said to be keen on making a six-month loan move in January and switching La Liga clubs.

Murillo has previous experience with Cadiz, Las Palmas, Granada and Inter Milan, but has only started one game for Los Che so far this season.

 

Messi discusses ‘tricky’ Lyon tie

Having been drawn against French side Olympique Lyonnais in the last-16 of the Champions League, Barcelona have been deemed favourites to win the competition outright.

Messi has been in typically free-scoring form in the competition this season and issued a rallying cry before the season began about his side’s desire to seal a European success this term.

However, the Argentine has warned that Lyon will prove difficult, having seen them beat Manchester City in the group stages.

“It’s going to be a hugely complicated game, but it is the same with every opponent in the Champions League,” Messi told reporters, as cited by Marca.

“Before the draw, Lyon were not the strongest name in the hat but it will be a complicated task for sure.

“They played in a really difficult group fighting face to face against Manchester City, one of the best teams in the world.

“It’s going to be really difficult to get through but the game is still very far away in February and a lot of things can happen.

“We don’t know what form we’re going to be in, or Lyon, so there are still a lot of games to be played before that but it will still be a complicated tie.”