Barcelona target Yerry Mina made his long-awaited return to action during Palmeiras' 3-2 defeat to Corinthians on Sunday (5 November) amid contradictory reports over when the Colombian international will make his proposed move to the Nou Camp.
The 23-year-old Colombian international has been tipped to move to Ernesto Valverde's side for a while after it emerged that the La Liga giants have a first refusal to sign him in a deal worth around €9m (£8m, $10.4m).
His move to Barcelona has since been seen like a mere formality but there have been doubts on when the Catalans will activate that option.
Some reports in the summer said that the Catalans considered bringing the deal forward following the release of Jeremy Mathieu and the loan departure of Marlon Santos to Nice.
However, such a move was completely ruled out after Mina broke his foot during a Copa Libertadores encounter between Palmeiras and Barcelona de Guayaquil on 10 August.
The towering centre-back has since been working in his recovery amid contradictory reports on whether he will finally make the move to Barcelona in January or at the end of the current season.
But Mina doesn't seem to be too affected by the speculation as the centre-back made his long-awaited return from injury with a header goal. The Colombian international couldn't avoid the defeat of his side but he proved both his aerial power and his fitness by competing the full 90 minutes of the game.
The defender will now join with his national team ahead of the coming friendlies with Corea (10 November) and China (14 November) while waiting to receive a final confirmation from Barcelona over his future.
Later last month Mina's agent and uncle urged the Catalans to make a decision ahead of the upcoming January transfer window following suggestions that Valverde was having second thoughts over bringing him in during the middle point of the season.
"You cannot have doubts. If they [Barcelona] want Yerry, perfect. Otherwise, no problem, other big teams are interested. Pep Segura [sporting manager of Barcelona] has to make a decision. They have been doubting [his signing] for a year and a half. We are going to sort it out soon, if they [Barcelona] do not want him he could go to another team," Yair Mina told Esporte Interativo.
The Barcelona boss later added more uncertainty to the saga after claiming that the Catalans won't sign a new centre-back in January unless any of his current defenders depart or suffer a long-term injury.
"I think that with four centre-backs in the squad is enough. Right now we have four and [Thomas] Vermaelen is yet to play in La Liga. We have four players for two positions," Valverde said in a press conference.
"Another thing would be if one of them is not here [because someone leaves in January] but in principle we have four centre-backs and we think that we can pull forward with them [until the end of the campaign]."
This way reports in Spain are claiming that Mina's move will depend on the future of Vermaelen after in October the Belgium international suggested that he could leave Barcelona in January in order to increase his chances of playing the World Cup.
Valverde also has Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano to cover the role but, if the former Arsenal star finally departs, he will surely need to bring Mina or someone else ahead of the second part of the campaign.