Mikel Merino became Newcastle United’s fifth signing of the summer, joining Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo and Jacob Murphy as new recruits at St James Park.

The club had previously confirmed that loan signings were intended to form part of the transfer strategy this summer and the 21 year old Spaniard was the first loan deal to be made.

Mikel Merino played two seasons in the Spanish second division for Osasuna before making a £3m move to Borussia Dortmund in summer 2016.

Last season he started only two league matches in the Bundesliga as well as six brief substitute appearances, a total of 292 minutes on the pitch.

A further 19 minutes of domestic cup action meant it was only 311 minutes of first team action in total for Borussia Dortmund.

Nevertheless, the Chronicle have revealed that Dortmund have recouped pretty much all of that transfer fee paid to Osasuna, with Newcastle paying £2.7m just to loan the 21 year old for this upcoming season.

They further confirm that Newcastle are obliged to pay another £6.5m if Merino plays a specified number of games for United.

This would make a total of £9.2m to be paid if everything works out.

Not a bad little deal for the German club, guaranteed to get their initial investment back and the possibility of more than tripling their original outlay, all for a player they only gave two games to.

As for how many matches the midfielder will need to play to trigger the deal, initial reports had suggested that it could be a similar deal to the one that saw Florian Thauvin move to Marseille.

He had a year loan but it was only a nominal, three appearances to make the move permanent and for Newcastle to receive £10m this summer.

However, reports in Germany claim that it is 20 appearances that will ensure Newcastle pay £6.5m extra next summer to buy the player.

If he plays that number of matches, then we should all be able to see by the time of approaching game number 20 whether he looks up to the task.

  • Jimblag23

    Yes transfer fees have gone wild. We’re aware.

  • TheNutJob

    His value increases by £3m a game, we’re on a winner here Lads

  • mentalman

    if he manages 20 games or more in the EPL then he’ll be worth 9million in todays market

  • Mal

    Sounds like one of those PPI deals they have on cars. Balloon payment at the end or you can hand him back (provided he hasn’t played 20 games). Hope he turns out to be good and exceeds that 20 target.

  • Antenociticus

    So, Merino’s first 19 games will cost NUFC £142,000 each.
    The twentieth game will make Ashley’s eyes water. . .