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 €10million, 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.
Provided by AFP Sport
With the transfer window now open the rumour mill is in overdrive, so with that in mind, we take a look at the top stories doing the rounds in the media today.
CITY TO MAKE SANCHEZ BID
Manchester City are preparing to test Arsenal’s resolve and bid £25million for wantaway star Alexis Sanchez, reports the Daily Mail.
As is well documented, the Chile international’s contract is up in the summer and the forward is desperate to push through a January switch to the Etihad Stadium.
It may take up to £35million for Arsenal to be convinced to sell this month but, of course, City will probably be willing to take the hit now rather than waiting to sign him on a free in the summer given the recent injury to Gabriel Jesus.
There’s no secret Sanchez wants to leave with his dross form for the Gunners indicating it’s time he moved on – for the sake of everyone involved.
KEPA ARRIZABALAGA PASSES REAL MADRID MEDICAL
According to Spanish outlet AS, Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga has passed a medical and agreed terms on a six-year deal with Real Madrid.
The 23-year-old is keen on making the move permanent this month but according to the report, Real have told the player to wait until June when he will receive a higher signing-on bonus.
It appears Spanish media are all in agreement this deal is done with Marca, claiming the Spanish stopper underwent tests Sanitas La Moraleja hospital in Madrid on Thursday.
His contract is up in the summer and Kepa has long been linked with a move to Los Blancos with reports suggesting Real will pay his €20 million release clause to acquire his services this month despite the fact he will be free in the summer.
AUBAMEYANG AN ARSENAL TARGET
Should Alexis Sanchez leave Arsenal in January, Arsene Wenger will set his sights on Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
The Gunners have started looking for alternatives should the Chilean depart and Aubameyang is chief among their list of targets.
Good luck! The Gabon forward just last month confirmed he’d signed a contract extension with Dortmund so letting him leave just weeks later seems a little absurd.
He signed through until 2021 so it would seem Arsenal will have to take their business elsewhere if Sanchez does indeed leave.
Sitting nine points clear at the top of La Liga and some 14 ahead of rivals Real Madrid, the Catalan giants are on course for a season of silverware.
Lionel Messi, of course, has been a crucial spearhead for the Blaugrana but it's at the back the side have impressed most with the likes of defender Samuel Umtiti and in particular German stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen hitting top form.
Indeed, say it quietly but Ter Stegen is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world right now and the 25-year-old has frequently got his side out of jail with a string of superb saves.
But the quality of his hands has never been in question.