Palmeiras sporting director Alexandre Mattos has confirmed that Barcelona have made an offer to sign Yerry Mina in January but the club chief has suggested that the Brazilian outfit would prefer to keep the Colombia international until the summer.
Ernesto Valverde's side have a first refusal to sign the 23-year-old defender for a fee set at €9m (£8m, $10.8m).
However, that option cannot be activated until the summer and it has been said that Barcelona are trying to convince Palmeiras to bring the deal forward to the current transfer window by offering some extra money.
The Catalan's original idea was to delay Mina's arrival until the summer with Valverde having Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Thomas Vermaelen and Javier Mascherano to play at the heart of the defence.
However, La Liga leaders have been forced to alter their plans after Mascherano asked them to leave the Nou Camp in January in order to secure more regular time somewhere else.
Reports in Spain have claimed that Barcelona are ready to sanction the departure of the Argentina international to Hebei China Fortune this month in a deal worth around €10m.
The Catalans need to sign a replacement first and Mina has emerged as the main candidate with the club unlikely to make a big outlay on a defender which is only expected to be a back-up.
Mundo Deportivo recently said that Barcelona would be ready to pay up to €12m to bring the deal forward to January.
Palmeiras' sporting director has now confirmed that Barcelona have already made an offer to bring the deal forward after he provided a contradictory update over Brazilian outfit's plans.
Mattos says that Palmeiras want to keep Mina until the summer but at the same time give Barcelona hope of completing his signing now if a good offer arrives.
"It's true that Barcelona have come after Mina. It's true they are offering more money [to bring the deal forward to January] but it's also true that Palmeiras are not interested," Mattos said to the Brazilian reporters during a press conference.
"We are going to wait for Mina to come back [from holidays] so that we can talk with him. Right now there is nothing new but if something [an offer] comes up that Palmerias like, we would would study the situation. And if we have to change our mind, it will be done but If not, he will stay. "
Mattos' comments suggest that Palmeiras would let Mina go but the Brazilian outfit will try to make the most of his sale as they know that Barcelona desperate need someone to replace Mascherano.
Reports in Spain are claiming that on Friday [5 January] Palmeiras will meet with Mina to make a final decision.