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Barcelona defender Santiago Bueno: I want to stay here for 15 years

Santiago Bueno, right, joined up with Barcelona B after the South American Youth Championship.

New Barcelona defender Santiago Bueno has said he wants to stay at the Camp Nou for the next 15 years after agreeing to join from Penarol in January.

Bueno, who helped Uruguay win the South American Youth Football Championship last month, is due to arrive in Barcelona on Wednesday.

Some pundits have suggested that the 18-year-old combines the qualities of Gerard Pique and Diego Godin.

But he told Mundo Deportivo: "That's what people say. But I'm Santiago Bueno and I have my own desire to be a success.

"I'm serious and committed to what I do. My idea is to stay here for 15 years, to play for Barcelona and to win a lot of titles."

Bueno said he first learned of Barca's interest in December but, with the South American Championship looming, was sheltered from how talks were progressing.

"No one wanted to tell me too much so that I didn't lose focus on the tournament," he added.

He will initially form part of Barca's B team, pursuing promotion back to the second tier of Spanish football under the guidance of Gerard Lopez.

However, the club hope that he will progress to the first team, where he already has a compatriot in striker Luis Suarez.

"I've already spoken with Luis through WhatsApp," he said. "He wished me luck at the South American Championship. He's every Uruguayan's idol."

Bueno's arrival continues Barca's strategy of recruiting young central defenders.

Last summer they signed France international Samuel Umtiti, while Brazilian Marlon Santos joined the B team on loan until the end of the season.

They have an option to sign Marlon permanently, which they are expected to take up after he impressed Luis Enrique enough to earn several call ups to the first team this season.

Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina is also on club's radar, and they have an agreement in place to sign him from Palmeiras for €9m.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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