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 today (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, but who also goes down pretty easy…