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West Ham targeting Colombian Center Back Yerry Mina?

The Hammers could do battle with Barcelona for the Palmeiras defender

Palmeiras v Internacional - Brasileirao Series A 2016 Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

West Ham's defensive struggles have been well documented this season, and reports suggest the club could be looking to the Brazilian league for new defenders. Reports from multiple papers, including The Mirror, suggest Yerry Mina of Palmeiras is a priority for The Irons.

Mina is one of Columbia's most exciting players, aged only 22, and has shown an impressive goal scoring flair in his brief career. A center back by trade, Mina has already played 168 games for club and country, scoring 17 times.

Mina moved to Palmeiras in May, 2016, and struggled to solidify has place in the team. Injuries and the form of others kept Mina out of the lineup for some time.

Palmeiras v Santos - Brasileirao Series A 2016
Mina is well known in Brazil for his dancing goal celebrations.
Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

However, once Mina gained a starting place, he didn't relinquish it. His excellent form has seen Mina called up to the Colombian national side for recent World Cup Qualifiers, starting and scoring against Uruguay.

Mina would likely be a solid option to replace Cheikhou Kouyate while the defender is away at the AFCON, but a heavy price tag could be required, with Barcelona also rumored to be interested.

In fact, in October, Mina’s agent even claimed a deal was in place for the Catalan giants to sign the Colombian. Jair Mina, Yerry’s uncle and agent, claimed “It's only a pre-agreement, so there's still the chance that other teams [make an offer], so [a move to Barca] would depend on circumstances and the desire of the player. Other top European teams are interested.” Clearly, there is still room for the Hammers to make a move.

Over the summer window, Manchester City, and Liverpool were both linked to Mina, so completing the signing would be a major coup for West Ham. With an offer for Jose Fonte likely to be rejected, Mina could be the best opportunity for West Ham to pick up a top class center half.