December 20, 2018 / 7:15 PM / in a month

Barca sign defender Murillo on loan from Valencia

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - Juventus v Inter Milan - Italian Serie A - Juventus stadium,Turin, Italy - 05/02/17 - Juventus' Mario Mandzukic in action against Inter Milan's Jeison Murillo. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino/File Photo

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona have signed defender Jeison Murillo on a six-month loan from fellow La Liga side Valencia, the Spanish champions said on Thursday.

“FC Barcelona and Valencia CF have reached an agreement for the transfer of Jeison Murillo for the remainder of the 2018/19 season. The agreement includes a purchase option worth 25 million euros (£22.6 million),” Barca said in a statement.

Barca’s defence has been left short due to France centre back 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.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Alexander Smith and Toby Davis

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