• Colombian international Mina is set to replace Javier Mascherano in Ernesto Valverde's squad.
  • Barcelona are willing to allow the former Liverpool star leave the club in January.

Barcelona are reportedly closing in on completing a deal in signing central defender Yerry Mina from Brazilian club Palmeiras in January.

The 23-year-old has long been a transfer target for the Catalan club. According to Spanish publication Sport, the defender will arrive at Camp Nou in the mid-season transfer window. The La Liga leaders' general manager Pep Segura is the main man behind the deal that is set to take shape.

Ernesto Valverde has identified it is necessary for him to strengthen his defence. He currently has the services of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Thomas Vermaelen and Javier Mascherano as the first choice centre-backs in the squad.

The France international is sidelined with an injury, while the former Liverpool star is expected to complete a switch to China. Mascherano, who has struggled for regular playing time, is set to join the Chinese Super League side Hebei, China Fortune for a fee of around €10m (£8.8m, $11.8m).

Barcelona are looking to bring the player to the club in the winter transfer market as the former Athletic Bilbao manager is looking to bolster his squad for the second half of the season.

Sport claims Barcelona already have an option to buy Mino for €9m (£8m, $10.7m), based on their agreement with Palmeiras from May 2016. He played a key role in helping his side win the Brasileiro in his debut season at the club.

It was agreed that Mino will join Barcelona after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, the Spanish giants are keen on bringing him to the club in January. This could help Palmeiras earn an additional €5m (£4.4m, $5.9m) from Mina's sale.

Andre Cury, who helped Barcelona sign Neymar and Real Madrid Vinicius Junior, will represent the European outfit when meeting the leaders of Palmeiras. Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau will supervise the final agreement with the Brazilian club.

Mina is expected to join Palmeiras squad for pre-season under their new coach Roger Machado, scheduled for 5 January. He is expected to be a part of the pre-season squad with the Sao Paulo based outfit until his transfer to Barcelona is completed. Meanwhile, Emerson Santos will take Mina's place in the squad at the Brazilian club.

The defender's uncle and agent, Jair Mina earlier admitted that he remains hopeful a deal can be agreed between Palmeiras and Barcelona, which will then allow his client to join the Spanish club in January.

Yerry Mina
Yerry Mina is edging closer towards joining Barcelona Getty