By 90Min
October 20, 2017

Ernesto Valverde is insisting to the Barcelona board that a new centre-back be recruited to the Catalan outfit in the January transfer window as defensive backup, should any of his first team players pick up an injury.

After being linked to Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez throughout the summer, yet failing to secure the Spaniard's services, Barcelona have been left short of depth at the back.

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Should either Gerard Pique or Samuel Umtiti sustain an injury, Valverde fears his side will not be properly equipped to cope with their absence, with Thomas Vermaelen expected to leave in January to seek out further game time ahead of the World Cup.

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, the €9m signing of 22-year-old Colombian international, Yerry Mina from Palmeiras had been discussed as a resolution to the Blaugrana's defensive worries. However, Valverde had raised concerns over the starlet adapting to European football.

As a result, upon his arrival in January, Mina would only be considered for less demanding matches, leaving him with a lack of much needed game time as a result. Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt has been viewed as an alternative to Mina, with the Dutch starlet impressing the bosses at the Nou Camp with his performances at Ajax last season.

With de Ligt already acclimated to European football, the 18-year-old Dutchman would prove to be an already experienced backup option, giving Mina time to settle before being thrust into the first team.

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