Barcelona have reportedly agreed the signing of Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina from Palmeiras, but the promising defender will stay at the Brazilian outfit until January 2018. Manchester City have also been linked with the 22-year-old defender in recent times but Mundo Deportivo claims that officials from the La Liga giants and Palmeiras have agreed his move to the Nou Camp during a meeting in Barcelona.
The Colombia international joined Palmeiras from Santa Fe in May but has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, after reports in Spain revealed the Catalan club had first dibs to sign him for €9m (£7.6m, $9.6m) from the summer of 2017.
Mina's agent confirmed the reports later during an interview with Radio Caracol, although adding that other European clubs were also monitoring the development of the towering centre-back.
"Yes, a pre-agreement was signed with Barcelona and there's the possibility that the kid goes to Barcelona. It is true," Mina's agent revealed. "It's only a pre-agreement, so there's still the chance that other teams (try to sign him) as there are some interested. So a move to Barcelona would depend on circumstances and the desire of the player. Other top European teams are interested."
Daily Mail claimed in November that Manchester City also became interested in the Colombian, as Pep Guardiola was looking to strengthen his back-line ahead of next season.
City already signed Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras last summer after beating Barcelona for his services, although the Brazilian forward did not move to the Etihad Stadium until January.
However, Mundo Deportivo is now reporting that Luis Enrique's side are on course to win the race for Mina after officials from the Spanish club and Palmeiras meet in Barcelona to agree a deal for the defender to move to the Nou Camp in January 2018.
Barcelona have agreed to delay his arrival until then because Palmeiras wanted the player to continue until December in order to have him available for the Copa Libertadores – a similar arrangement with Gabriel Jesus' move to Manchester City.
Mina has said that he was flattered by Barcelona's interest, but adding that he would rather delay his arrival in Europe to continue his development at Palmeiras.
"When I go to Europe I want to be 100% to have the best adaptation possible. Everything is going really fast, but I'm happy with what's happening to me," Mina told Diario Sport. "I'm happy and excited because, as they say, Barca is more than a club. Every day I get up and think I'm doing things well because Barca are paying attention to me."
Barcelona signed Samuel Umtiti during the summer transfer window but have been looking to add another young centre-back to the squad for the future. Marc Bartra and Thomas Vermaelen left the Nou Camp in the summer while Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu are already the wrong side of 30.
In January the Catalans also signed Uruguay starlet Santiago Bueno as a prospect for the future while they also have a priority option to secure the services of Marlon Santos on a permanent basis from Fluminense. The Brazilian is currently on loan with the club's reserves.