With Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet the only two fit centre-backs at Barcelona, bringing in a defender as cover was seen as a priority for Ernesto Valverde.
Logically, Barcelona had to make a move for a short-term fix that could help the club until the injured Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen return to full fitness. Former Real Madrid player Pepe and Chelsea’s Andres Christensen emerged as possible matches but the La Liga champions decided to search for a potential candidate within the league and hence signed Valencia’s Murillo.
The deal is a six-month loan with the option to buy the 26-year-old for €25m at the end of the season. In truth, it’s a move that could prove to be a fantastic one for the club and the risks associated are incredibly low.
With experience of playing in the top flight in Italy and Spain, Murillo can prove to be an excellent back-up option to the likes of Pique and Umtiti. The Colombian international has plied his trade at Valencia for 18 months now and has accustomed well to the league.
This transfer promises to be a tremendous move for the club from both the short-term and long-term perspectives.
It is no secret anymore that Dutch sensation Maathijs de Ligt is a target for most top European clubs and this hunt is spearheaded by Barcelona.
The fact that Murillo’s loan deal runs until next summer does not close the door for de Ligt’s transfer to the Catalan club.
All evidence points to the fact that the Ajax defender will be wearing Barcelona colours soon and the Murillo deal keeps the best interests of this move intact while providing a short-term fix for the remainder of the season.
De Ligt has been tipped to be the successor of Pique and if everything goes according to plan, Barcelona will have the centre-back position sorted for the next 7-8 years.
In the case that de Ligt refuses a move to Barcelona, the club can execute the option to buy Murillo on a permanent deal. His €25m price tag is an extremely small sum in the inflated market for a player who has already proved himself in a top league.
In the worst and unlikely scenario that de Ligt decides against the Barcelona move and Murillo fails to impress at the Catalan club, Ernesto Valverde will still have four fit defenders next season.
This deal has all attributes to be deemed a well-thought and calculated move.
Know more about Sport360 Application