Yerry Mina will complete Barcelona move in 2018, agent confirms

Colombian defender still set for Nou Camp switch in January despite rival interest from several other suitors.

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A representative of Yerry Mina has confirmed that the Colombian centre-back will indeed leave Palmeiras for Barcelona next year having always dreamed of playing for the La Liga giants.

Mundo Deportivo reported earlier this year that former Santa Fe starlet Mina had agreed to move to the Nou Camp in January 2018, with suggestions that Barcelona had held first refusal on a €9m (£7.8m, $10.3m) deal since last summer.

The player's agent later confirmed those reports during an interview with Caracol Radio, although stressed that a pre-agreement did not prevent him from opting to move elsewhere amid sustained interest from several other top European clubs.

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Real Madrid and Manchester City were also credited with an interest in his signature, according to Goal, with former Blaugrana boss Pep Guardiola having already secured the arrival of Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras in a similar arrangement.

Bayern Munich and AC Milan are also said to have approached Mina's camp, while Inter Milan emerged as a real threat to Barcelona following new suggestions that the only obligation Palmeiras had was to warn the 24-time Spanish champions that a superior bid had been made. He was also flatteringly compared to veteran Italian defender Andrea Barzagli as rumours of a potential switch to Serie A began to gather pace.

However, speaking in an interview with fcinternews.it quoted by several Spanish outlets including AS and Marca, representative Felipe Russo claimed that the 22-year-old would be heading to Catalonia this winter as planned.

"Yes, his arrival is scheduled for 2018," he said. "For the moment he'll stay in Brazil, then he will go to La Liga. Everything is practically closed and his dream has always been to be a Barcelona player."

Russo further insisted that there would be no late change of heart and that Mina, who has already earned nine senior international caps for Colombia, had remained in Brazil in order to make the best possible preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He was previously said to have stayed to help Palmeiras in their quest to win the Copa Libertadores, South American football's version of the Champions League which runs until late November.

"Why would this breakdown, when it's a move that ensures the player's best interests?" Russo asked. "He'll stay with Palmeiras for another season as he wants to be in top shape going into the 2018 World Cup. But there are zero possibilities that things will change".

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Colombia's Yerry Mina will join Barcelona in JanuaryRAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images

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