The uncertainty caused by the injury of Umtiti, who has preferred a conservative therapy to be operated on his left knee, has accelerated the signing of a center in Barcelona. The operation was accelerated by Vermaelen's relapse. Jeson Murillo, from Valencia, spent Thursday medical review and will be presented next week as a new player of Barça until June 30. The agreement includes a non-compulsory purchase option for 25 million after the Mestalla club executed last summer the purchase option of 13 million with Inter. "I'm fast, smart, with a good foot and a lot of power," said the central defender.
The intervention of coach Ernesto Valverde in favor of the Colombian defender, aged 26, has been decisive, once different alternatives in Europe have been studied. The coach is betting on a defense that knows the Spanish League and has international experience as Murillo, practically unpublished in Valencia – he has lined up in three games – due to his discrepancies with coach Marcelino García Toral.
The Barcelona prefers a player on loan that will cost about two million euros to a transfer or to promote a player of the Masia. The liquidity of the Barça entity is limited and the team aims to recover Umtiti in the short-medium term. Waiting to know if the French has to be or not operated, Valverde does not want to take risks and has opted for Murillo as an alternative to the Piqué-Lenglet couple.
Only right-handed center, Piqué has practically not rested while Lenglet has adapted quickly to the team, benefited by his passage through Sevilla, decisive detail to understand the incorporation of Murillo. The exvalencianista is substitute in the selection of exazulgrana Mina (Everton). Murillo, physically powerful, strong in the air game and one on one, less gifted for the exit of the ball, offers more alternatives because it is offered from both profiles and can replace Piqué.
The defense has been the weak line of Barça. The team not only has suffered problems of containment but the injuries have hindered its stability, both by the absence of the central as well as the side: Sergi Roberto rejoined this Thursday to training after Semedo's injury forced Valverde to change the drawing in Levante field. Habituado to 4-3-3 and sometimes to 4-4-2, Barca played with a 3-5-2.