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Barcelona sign centre-back Yerry Mina early

Barcelona sign centre-back Yerry Mina early

Barcelona have completed their second signing of the January transfer window, bringing in Colombian defender Yerry Mina from Palmeiras, according to the Daily Mirror.

The 23-year-old centre-back joins for £10.5 million and comes just three days after Barca purchased Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.

Mina was expected to join the Catalan club in the summer for €9 million (£7.9 million), but with Javier Mascherano on the verge of leaving in January, along with first-choice defender Samuel Umtiti currently on the sidelines, the deal was brought forward.

Impressive for club and country

The Colombian attracted Barcelona following his stellar performances for his club, having helped Brazilian outfit Palmeiras to the Brasileiro Serie A title in 2016.

He has also become a regular for the national side, having made his debut during the 2016 Copa America as Colombia finished the tournament third. Mina also helped them to four clean sheets and a goal in his five World Cup qualifying matches, with La Tricolor securing a place at the competition in Russia next year.

Signed early

This pushed Barca to tie the defender down a deal, where he would join in the summer, but injuries and potential sales have forced the club to pay extra to bring him in early.

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Veteran Mascherano is disgruntled at his lack of minutes, as he hopes to earn a place at the World Cup for Argentina, and so is eyeing a move to China, with Hebei Fortune favourites.

Injury to Umtiti, who is not expected to return until the beginning of February, has left the Catalans short at the back, and had been linked with a host of defenders as temporary cover, including Chelsea’s David Luiz.

However, Mina has joined early, signing a five-and-a-half year deal with a release clause of €100 million (£88.5 million), with hopes he can settle quickly in La Liga. The long-term aim for the Colombian is to partner Umtiti for years to come, as Gerard Pique nears the twilight of his career.