BARCELONA, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Valencia defender Jeison Murillo is set to sign a six-month loan deal with La Liga champions Barcelona, Spanish media reported.
Spain’s AS newspaper said on Thursday that Barca will pay Valencia 2 million euros ($2.29 million) and will reserve the right to sign Murillo permanently for 25 million euros when the loan deal expires in June.
Barca’s defence has been left short due to France centreback Samuel Umtiti needing treatment on his knee and Thomas Vermaelen, whose Nou Camp career has been blighted by injury, being ruled out for at least a month with a calf problem.
Murillo, 26, moved from Colombia to Italy aged 18 to play for Udinese, later joining Spain’s Granada before moving to Inter Milan in 2015.
He joined Valencia on loan in 2017, making a permanent move in August for a reported 12 million euros, but has made only three appearances in all competitions this season.
The defender has been capped 27 times for Colombia, but was not selected for the 2018 World Cup. ($1 = 0.8736 euros) (Reporting by Richard Martin Editing by Alexander Smith)