Mikel Merino move to Newcastle now finalised – German media
Mikel Merino will formally be announced as a Newcastle United player today (Friday) according to the media in Germany.
They say that the move has been finalised and the 21 year old will be unveiled.
Initial claims (see below) were that the deal would be purely a loan one, as Borussia Dortmund were said to want to keep him longer-term.
However, Friday’s reports from Germany say that when Mikel Merino is confirmed as a Newcastle player today, it will be on a year’s loan with a trigger for a permanent transfer which would go through at the end of the season.
The indications are that this would be more a formality, a bit like Florian Thauvin who only had to play three times for Marseille last season for that to become a binding permanent deal.
The structure of the reported deal is presumably to allow Newcastle to bring the player in now with a nominal loan fee up front, allowing the club to then pay the permanent transfer cash in a year’s time when finances will be expected to have improved.
Ahead of formal confirmation, Rafa Benitez has been happy to talk about his imminent fifth signing of the summer.
The United boss saying that he and the club must be doing their job properly because none of the media knew about Mikel Merino, despite claiming 100 other players could/would come to Newcastle United.
“We don’t talk about names because we have been linked with 100.
“I am really pleased that you (media) didn’t know about Mikel Merino because it means that we are doing our job properly.”
The Mag – 26 July 2017:
News broke (see below) on Wednesday afternoon that Mikel Merino was allegedly on his way to Newcastle United.
Over in Spain, Marca reported that Borussia Dortmund had an ‘agreement in principle’ for the midfielder to join NUFC.
The 21 year Spaniard was said to be set to move on a year’s loan to Tyneside with Dortmund still seeing him a longer-term asset, although then some other media followed up with claims the move would be a permanent one.
The Bundesliga club then revealed that Mikel Merino hadn’t been included as the squad flew off to Dortmund.
Things however may have already gone a lot further than thought, with photos circulating on social media, said to show the player at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, presumably having/having had his medical.
The photos were taken by Newcastle fan Michael Gladders:
— Michael Gladders (@MichaelGladders) July 26, 2017
The Mag – Earlier on 26 July 2017:
An agreement in principle has reached for Mikel Merino to join Newcastle this summer, according to reports in Spain.
The Spanish Under 21 international moved to Borussia Dortmund shortly after his 20th birthday for around £3m.
The young midfielder had made his debut for Osasuna as an 18 year old back in 2014 and made 67 appearances for them in the Spanish second tier.
This included 36 league starts in 2015/16, which saw him score seven goals from midfield.
That form helped clinch a move to German giants Borussia Dortmund but predictably he found first team football a bit harder to come by.
An unused substitute a few times in the Premier League last season, Mikel Merino only made two starts in the Bundesliga and six times came off the bench in league games.
Marca say that Borussia Dortmund have all but finalised a deal that will see him move to Newcastle this coming season.
However, the Spanish newspaper says that they still believe the now 21 year old midfielder has a big future ahead of him, so are only willing to let him move on loan for the season.
Borussia Dortmund once again qualified for Champions League football after finishing third in the Bundesliga and the German club see the priority for Mikel Merino as being to get experience and minutes on the pitch elsewhere at the moment.
If this transfer story does have substance then the Spanish angle for Rafa Benitez will be growing ever further, with the likes of Manquillo, Lejeune and Gamez having already being recruited from La Liga. Plus of course players such as Victor Fernandez below first team.
With Newcastle fans looking for some inspiration in the transfer market, loan deals have been suggested as being on the cards with the club struggling to buy the quality needed.
Borussia Dortmund have just confirmed via their Twitter account that Mikel Merino hasn’t travelled with the rest of the squad to Switzerland, as transfer discussions are taking place with another (unnamed) club.
On this skills/goals video footage below, he looks a very tricky left-footed midfielder (who can also play as a left sided full-back/wing-back or centre-back), loves his nutmegs and tricks as well as doing the more defensive work.
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