Thursday 20 December 2018 21:15, UK
Barcelona have signed Colombia international centre-back Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia until the end of the season.
Murillo joins on an initial loan deal but Barca have the option to make the signing permanent for a fee of £22.6m at the end of the season.
Spanish media reported that Barca coach Ernesto Valverde made a special request for the club to sign Murillo, despite the 26-year-old having played only one La Liga match all season.
Barcelona have lost Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen to injury,and have struggled defensively this season conceding 19 goals in 11 league games, before a run of three consecutive clean sheets.
Vermaelen is expected to be out for around four weeks after suffering a torn calf muscle against Levante over the weekend.
Tests carried out on the Belgium international showed Vermaelen had torn a muscle in his right calf and he will not play again until January at the earliest.
Umtiti is currently undergoing treatment on a knee cartilage problem in Qatar, and it leaves Barcelona with only Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet able to play in the heart of their defence.
Murillo, 26, who has played 27 times for Colombia, joined Valencia on a permanent deal in the summer following a season-long loan spell from Italian side Inter Milan.