Palmeiras's Yerry Mina celebrates after scoring against Penarol in the 2017 Copa Libertadores. Photo: REUTERS/Andres Stapff

BARCELONA - La Liga leaders Barcelona have signed centre-back Yerry Mina from Palmeiras on a 5-1/2 year contract for a fee of 11.8 million euros ($14 million), the Spanish club said on Thursday.

The Colombia international has made 33 appearances for Palmeiras over the last two seasons, helping them win the league title in 2016. He also won the Copa Sudamericana with former club Santa Fe.

"Yerry Mina now comes to Barca with the opportunity to continue developing as a footballer following his move to Europe. Without a doubt the Colombian has the potential to make it," Barcelona said in a statement on their website.

Mina's contract at Barcelona has a termination clause worth 100 million euros.

The promising 23-year-old is expected to reinforce Barcelona's defence with Spanish media reports saying veteran Javier Mascherano is close to leaving to join Chinese side Hebei China Fortune.

"He will bring a physical presence as his 1.95 metre frame suggests but he is also a quick, ball-playing defender. The Colombian, who is joining from Palmeiras, uses his aerial prowess to impose himself and score goals," Barcelona said of Mina.

"In fact, in his 49 games for the Brazilian side, Mina has scored nine goals. He has also scored another three with the Colombian national team with whom he has now made nine appearances since his debut on 8 June 2016."

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