Football

Barca sign Colombia defender Mina

Spanish giants Barcelona have signed centre back Yerry Mina from Palmeiras on a 5½-year deal for 11.8 million euros (S$18.8 million), the La Liga leaders announced yesterday.

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

The 23-year-old's arrival is likely to pave the way for Argentine veteran Javier Mascherano, 33, to join Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune.

Mina's deal at Barcelona has a termination clause worth 100 million euros, reported Reuters.

Despite his towering 1.95m frame, Mina is also good with the ball at his feet and has honed his technique after his stint in Brazil, reported Marca.

This is Barcelona's second signing of the January transfer window, after landing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for 160 million euros.

Zidane extends Real deal to 2020

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed that he has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the European champions until 2020.

"It's signed," said the Frenchman after his side drew 2-2 with Numancia to progress to the Copa del Rey quarter-finals 5-2 on aggregate yesterday morning (Singapore time).

After a dream start at Real, with eight trophies out of a possible 10, Zidane has endured a tough season with his side 16 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race.

The 45-year-old cautioned: "I'm enjoying what I do every day... I know how it goes, even with this contract, it doesn't change anything."

Against Numancia, Real fielded an almost unrecognisable team, with an eye on tomorrow's La Liga clash against Villarreal.

Lucas Vazquez scored both their goals, in the 11th and 59th minutes. On both occasions, the visitors fought back, thanks to a brace from Guillermo on the stroke of half-time and in the 82nd minute.

Leganes, a modest club from the Madrid suburbs, reached the last eight for the first time despite losing 2-1 at Villarreal, who are sixth in La Liga.

They progressed on the away-goals rule, having won the first leg 1-0. - AFP

Football