Back in July, Borussia Dortmund stated that ‘a binding purchase option’ had been agreed with Newcastle United, meaning that once a certain number of appearances were made for NUFC, a permanent move would automatically be in place.
The German media reported that Newcastle had paid an initial £2.7m to have the player on loan, with a further £6.5m to be paid if the deal became permanent.
As for the number of appearances that needed to be made, neither Newcastle United or Borussia Dortmund revealed that exact figure.
However, reports in Germany claimed that it was only a nominal number of games.
Newcastle had agreed something similar with Marseille for Florian Thauvin. The French club were strapped for cash in summer 2016 and so it was a one year loan deal with a permanent trigger of only three appearances. What it did mean though was that whilst after only the three games Marseille were guaranteed to have Thauvin permanently, they didn’t have to pay the cash until the end of the season (summer 2017).
During summer 2017, it became apparent that Rafa Benitez wasn’t going to be allowed to go for the kind of transfers he ideally wanted, with Mike Ashley refusing to allow any of this season’s Premier League money to be spent on transfers in advance.
The end result was a net spend of only £11.5m for Newcastle and that included the £2.7m loan fee for Mikel Merino.
Whilst there was no mention of it in Newcastle United’s official statement this morning, Borussia Dortmund have now indicated that the Merino permanent transfer has simply been triggered by the midfielder making the required number of appearances.
Borussia Dortmund state that ‘The initial loan deal has been made permanent because the terms agreed when the contract was signed have been fulfilled.’
So clearly the Mikel Merino deal has been similar to Thauvin’s departure, after making just six starts and one appearance off the bench, the Spanish Under 21 player is now a permanent signing, though with the remaining £6.5m due to be paid at a later date.
However the transfer has come about, Friday 13th is proving anything but unlucky for Newcastle fans, as a player of real potential quality is now ours.
Borussia Dortmund Official Statement – 13 October 2017 – after permanent Mikel Merino transfer confirmed:
“Merino Merino, 21, who has been on loan at Newcastle United since July 2017, has transferred to the English Premier League club on a permanent basis.
“The initial loan deal has been made permanent because the terms agreed when the contract was signed have been fulfilled.
“The Spain U21 international joined Borussia Dortmund from Osasuna in the summer of 2016, making nine appearances in the Bundesliga and DFB Cup during his sole season in Germany.
“BVB this summer agreed to the talented youngster’s request to complete an initial loan switch to Newcastle United.
“Merino has played in each of the first seven games of the season for the Magpies, who currently sit in ninth place in the English top flight.
“Borussia Dortmund wish Mikel Merino all the very best for his future at his new club.”
Borussia Dortmund Official Statement – 28 July 2017 – when Mikel Merino was signed on loan:
‘Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino, 21, is set to complete a loan switch to newly-promoted Premier League outfit Newcastle United.
A binding purchase option was agreed with the English club for the event that the player features in a certain number of competitive matches.
The Spain U21 international joined Borussia Dortmund from CA Osasuna one year ago and made nine Bundesliga and DFB Cup appearances in his debut season in Germany.
“Mikel was not getting the playing time that he had hoped for given the range of high-quality options we have in the midfield positions. We have therefore agreed to his wish and wish him all the very best for the coming season in England,” said BVB Sporting Director Michael Zorc.’