Paraguay defender Balbuena to undergo Corinthians medical

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Rio de Janeiro, Feb 7 (IANS) Brazilian football champions Corinthians have beaten off interest from local rivals Sao Paulo to sign Paraguay defender Fabian Balbuena, according to local media reports

Balbuena will undergo a medical with the Brazilian outfit on Monday after his club Libertad reportedly agreed to a $1.5 million transfer, reports Xinhua.

“If there are no issues with the physical tests, he will sign a three-year contract,” Brazilian portal Gazeta Esportiva said on Saturday, citing sources close to Corinthians.

Balbuena has been identified as a replacement for central defender Gil, who left the Sao Paulo club to join China’s Shandong Luneng on January 18.

The 24-year-old made his international debut in Paraguay’s 1-0 friendly loss to Mexico in Kansas City last March.

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Corinthians have lost five players since clinching the Brazilian Serie title for a sixth time in December. Those to have left are Ralf, Jadson, Renato Augusto and Gil — all to Chinese Super League clubs — and Alexandre Pato to Chelsea.

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