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.