BARCA SIGN FIRST OFFICIAL COLUMBIAN PLAYER
Barcelona have confirmed the signature of Columbia international Yerry Mina, 23, from Brazilian side Palmeiras for €11.8 million. The deal was earlier reported to be completed after the World Cup, just before the new season begun. However, the Catalan side opted to get the deal over the line now.
With Javier Mascherano set to move to the Chinese Super League (CSL), Mina would be an addition to the defensive players in the current setup. Hebei China Fortune were able to convince Barcelona to allow the player move to their club for around €5.77 million – which is the cap for any loss-making football club in the CSL based on foreign player restrictions by the Chinese Football Association.
Barcelona were hoping to get more from the deal of the Argentine but Hebei were able to make a good case so the La Liga leaders sanctioned the deal. Mascherano is expected to spend only a few years before he retires from football after an illustrious career.
With the move it seems Thomas Vermaelen would remain at the Nou Camp for a while longer as against earlier indications that the Belgian would exit to get playing time. He has missed too many games in recent years due to injuries and poor form. However he seems to have gotten favour in the sight of Coach Ernesto Valverde.
When regular defender Samuel Umtiti was injured, the coach preferred to play Vermaelen alongside Gerard Pique. Mascherano, who has started just six league games so far, was sure to be on his way out as he fell in the pecking order.
Mina is expected to join the defensive ranks and support the first choice stars, while continuing his development as a young player. He becomes the second signing of the new year for Barcelona following the acquisition of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool.