With Barcelona enforcer Javier Mascherano on his way out, the La Liga leaders are “one step away” from signing Colombian international Yerry Mina from Palmeiras, according to the Spanish press.
Barcelona are also sweating over the fate of their young French centre-back Samuel Umtiti, widely reported to be in talks with Manchester City.
Should Mascherano, on the verge of a switch to China’s Hebei Fortune for $12 million (€10 million), and Umtiti leave, Barcelona would be left with just Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen as recognised centre-backs.
“Yerry Mina is just a step away from becoming a Barcelona player,” Mundo Deportivo reported on Friday.
“Barca say it’s a done deal,” Spanish radio Onda Cero reported.
Former Colombian international winger Faustino Asprilla, who also played at Palmeiras wrote on Twitter “Benvingut (welcome) Yerry Mina to @fcbarcelona.”
Mina is an athletic 6ft 5in (1.95m), 23-years-old and has been with Sao Paulo outfit Palmeiras since May 2016.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has passed his medical at Real Madrid and is set to complete his €20 million ($24 million) transfer from Bilbao, Spanish media reported on Friday.
The move had been thrown into doubt by a badly timed injury for the 23-year-old, but Spanish sports media reported that the medical allayed any worries and that Kepa’s agent and Real were meeting to put the finishing touches to a contract, which could be for six years.
“The next step is to pay his buyout clause and present him as a player. That should be achieved in the next few hours or days,” AS, a sports daily, said.
The player’s registration could be delayed until early next week because Spain celebrates Epiphany with a national holiday on Saturday and the league offices will be closed.
Real’s next match is in the Copa del Rey against Numancia at the Bernebeu next Wednesday.
The young Basque is slender and agile, stands 6ft 3in (1.94m) tall and weighs 84 kilos. He came through the Bilbao youth system, made his league debut in 2016 and has played 38 times for the club but his contract is due to expire in June and he had refused to sign a new one.
He was part of the Spanish team that won the European under-19 championship in 2012 and made his first appearance for the senior national team in November, playing 90 minutes in a 5-0 friendly win over Costa Rica.
Kepa’s arrival could push Kiko Casilla, the usual backup to Keylor Navas, towards the exit.