Football: Barcelona sign Colombian defender Murillo on loan

Jeison Murillo (centre) juggles with a ball during a Valencia training session.
Jeison Murillo (centre) juggles with a ball during a Valencia training session.PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (AFP) - Barcelona have signed Colombian international centre-back Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia until the end of the season, the two clubs announced on Thursday (Dec 20).

The La Liga leaders have struggled defensively this season, conceding 19 goals in 11 league games before a run of three consecutive clean sheets, while also losing defenders Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen to injuries.

Barcelona said that they will have an option to make the deal for Murillo permanent in June for €25 million (S$39 million).

Spanish media reported that Barca coach Ernesto Valverde had made a special request for the club to sign Murillo, despite the 26-year-old having played only one La Liga match all season.

Murillo has played 27 times for Colombia and has previously spent two years at Inter Milan.