Monday afternoon has seen claims from Spain saying that Mikel Merino is going to ask Rafa Benitez to be allowed to leave St James Park.

Spanish newspaper Estadio Deportivo says that the Newcastle midfielder has told his ‘inner circle’ that he wants to move on again this summer.

His preferred destination is La Liga, having already played 67 times in the second tier with Osasuna as an 18 and 19 year old, he wants now the chance to play in the top tier.

The report says there is interest from Real Betis, Real Sociedad, and Athletic Bilbao, amongst others.

As well as wanting to play in La Liga, Estadio Deportivo say their information is that more than anything Mikel Merino is desperate for regular club football.

At Borussia Dortmund he only started two Bundesliga games after moving there in June 2016, then a still not great 14 starts for Newcastle in the Premier League.

Turning 22 in 11 days time, the ambitious midfielder understandably doesn’t fancy sitting things out on the bench once again, after January he only made one PL start for Newcastle.

Against the odds, after a poor season up that point, both Shelvey and Diame suddenly transformed into an excellent partnership for the last few months of the season.

Unless somebody comes in, it is very difficult to see Rafa Benitez starting with anybody else in the middle of the pitch when the new PL season kicks off.

Estadio Deportivo also report that there have been conversations going on behind the scenes, with Real Betis vice-president Serra Ferrer and Real Betis manager Quique Setien, having both already rang Mikel Merino to try and persuade him to join their club.

The report says that when Rafa and his players return from their holidays Merino will seek talks with the manager about his exit, pre-season at Newcastle begins three weeks today (Monday 2 July).

  • Paul Patterson

    I believe nowt.

    • Duh

      Me neither.

  • JonMag

    With Rafa`s contract in limbo i don`t think that Merino will be the last to leave,
    the players can see what`s going on & quite frankly when the manager leaves Nufc we will go down like the Titanic.

  • ghostrider

    If it’s true then let him go. I don’t want any player at this club who’s not dedicated to it.

    • TheNutJob

      he want`s to play, better than a lot at Newcastle Utd who never get a game and sit back getting their 30 to 40 grand a week for nowt.

      • ghostrider

        If he wants to play then why is he wanting to leave?

    • TheFatController

      Your ability to truly get to the real motivation of your fellow humans never ceases to amaze me.

      You should be proud.

      • TheNutJob


      • ghostrider


  • I like the lad. If he wants to go home, let him if we get a good price. What is more worrying if it has anything to do with Benitez not yet signing a new contract. We all know Enrique took a pay cut to get away from an unambitious club. We don’t want more of the same.

    • TheNutJob

      don`t think a quality player will come here this summer with Rafa`s position up in the air

    • Big Hairy Man

      It doesn’t matter what price he sells for. Rafa won’t see a penny of it.

  • TheNutJob

    Seville what a beautiful city that is, i was there with wor kid 4 yrs ago, we can ill afford to lose players like this but the lad wants 1st team football so i suppose it was inevitable that he would go.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Of course he wants a move most weeks he makes the bench sometimes he is left out the squad. Spoke to him before one home game and was gutted he had to watch the game from the stands when he was fit. Rafa should be fair and let him go as not part of his plans and Mitro.

    • TheNutJob

      funny thing to say when Rafa was the one who brought him here & indeed triggered his clause early

  • Liam Hogg

    He’s not better than any of Betis current CM’s so it’s a strange one for me, especially since Ceballos wants to go back to Betis from Real even told Liverpool he had no interest in going there

  • London Geordie

    Nobody should be allowed to leave until the situation with the manager is sorted a new manager might need the players
    Rafa doesn’t rate

    • JonMag

      Anyone daft enough to replace Rafa will have no choice on players he`ll get what`s there like the nuggets before Benitez

      • London Geordie

        All the more reason to keep what we have until we know for sure

  • Damon Horner

    Doesn’t sound like much of an inner circle if the media know about it… Merino is unlucky, just needs to be patient. Diame was on great form, doesn’t send the best message to the squad if form doesn’t mean anything.

  • Mrkgw

    If these reports are to be believed, him go.

  • Leicester Mag

    The way this summer is going there’s going to be no-one left if the rumours are true.

  • He obviously has physical issues with the Premier League.
    The lad should go if he is seriously injured and can’t risk Premier League more Rugby approach.

  • Gallowgate Dave

    Merino certainly has ability but he found himself deservedly out of the team, partly due to injury, partly due to the form of Shelvey and Diame but partly due to his own indifferent form. He barely played at Dortmund so it’s obviously not the first time he’s experienced this. I’d like to see him buckle down and be the success most of us think he can be rather than think a move is always the answer to his problems.

  • Dillon Tovak

    I don’t believe he wants to go, I think it’s all being whipped up for the “like a new signing” when he stays.
    But if he wants to leave, bye bye I’d rather have people willing to fight.

  • Peaky

    Can’t believe nowt these days but if it comes out as true and he wants to leave…simple…get rid…

  • Ba ba.

    Shame looked good in flashes