Barcelona land Jeison Murillo from Valencia on an initial loan

Barcelona have confirmed their first signing of the winter transfer window with Jeison Murillo scheduled to arrive from Valencia on an initial loan move. The Colombia international only joined Los Che on a permanent deal earlier in the season but he has now been offered the chance to link up with the Blaugrana, who are said to have the obligation to buy for €25m.

“FC Barcelona and Valencia CF have reached an agreement for the transfer of Jeison Murillo on loan for the remainder of the 2018/19 season. The agreement includes a purchase option worth €25m. The presentation ceremony is scheduled for next Thursday, December 27. Details forthcoming,” a statement on the club’s official website read.

Barcelona had started the season with fourth central defenders within the ranks but two of them in Thomas Vermaelen and Samuel Umtiti have struggled with regular injury concerns. As such, manager Ernesto Valverde has not been able to rotate from the likes of Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet in recent weeks and this appears to have triggered the move for the former Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, the transfer may cease the recent speculation linking Andreas Christensen with a probable move to the Camp Nou. The Chelsea defender has been regularly mentioned on the media as a potential target for the Spanish champions but that may not happen for January at the least with Murillo getting the chance to prove his credentials.

Barcelona have experienced a stop-start campaign in the Spanish top-flight and they have still managed to stay at the top of the standings with a three-point gap over Sevilla. Their European campaign, however, has been much more assured but they face a tricky challenge at the round of 16 phase with Lyon to face. The French outfit were impressive during their group stage where they secured four points off Premier League holders Manchester City.