Yerry Mina
Yerry Mina can join Barcelona in a deal worth around €9m

Colombia national team manager Jose Pekerman has seemingly let slip that Palmeiras centre-back Yerry Mina will move to Barcelona at some point.

It is well known that the La Liga giants have a first option to sign the 23-year defender in a deal worth around €9m (£8m, $10.8m) which could be activated either in January or next summer.

However, the deal has been subject to question marks in the last month after Mina's agent and uncle sent an ultimatum to Barcelona ahead of the next transfer window.

"You cannot have doubts," Yair Mina told Esporte Interativo. "If they [Barcelona] want Yerry, perfect.

"Otherwise, no problem, other big teams are interested. [Barcelona sporting manager] Pep Segura 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."

It has been said that Mina wants to make the move in January, while Ernesto Valverde would rather delay his arrival until the summer amid concerns over his ability to adapt to European football midway through the season.

Indeed, the Barcelona boss recently claimed that the club will not sign a new centre-back ahead of the second half of the season unless any of his current defenders depart in January 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]."

But Pekerman has now reopened the debate after suggesting that Mina will end up playing for Barcelona at some stage.

"You are going to watch Yerry Mina. He is one the great revelations of today's football. He plays at Palmeiras, he is almost 2 metres and has the possibility to move to Spain to play for Barcelona," Pekerman was quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo before Colombia's 4-0 victory over China on Wednesday night (15 November).

The Colombia boss was highlighting Mina's talent to play down the absence of other important stars after the likes of James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado were given permission to miss the friendly with China.

Reports in Spain have claimed that Vermaelen could hold the key to Mina's arrival as Barcelona will need to bolster the centre-back position in January if the Belgium international leaves the Nou Camp.

Even if Vermaelen stays, Valverde may consider changing his original plans for January after learning earlier this week that Javier Mascherano will be sidelined for around four weeks due to a muscle injury sustained while on international duty with Argentina.

The Barcelona boss still has Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti to cover the position, but an injury to either of one of them during Mascherano's absence could be critical.

Nevertheless, Vermaelen is yet to play a single La Liga game in 2017-18 and has been plagued by numerous fitness issues over recent years.