It increasingly looks as though Mikel Merino will be making a return to Spanish football this summer.

The Spanish media are giving the potential move almost daily coverage and on this one, it is difficult to believe there is not substance to a likely transfer.

Mikel Merino only made two league starts for Borussia Dortmund in 2016/17 and came to Newcastle, initially on loan, in order to get more regular football.

However, the Spanish Under 21 international made only 14 Premier League starts in the end, with only a single one after January.

Yes he did have injury problems but reality is that he was on the bench throughout most of February, March, April and May, and apart from the sole start at Liverpool, Merino only played 33 minutes off the bench after January.

From the start, the Spanish media have claimed that three clubs are chasing the midfielder: Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao.

It has increasingly been Real Sociedad and Real Betis as time has gone on and now Spanish newspaper AS claim that Real Sociedad are set to fly to England to try and get the transfer finalised.

Mikel Merino turns 22 tomorrow (Friday) and AS say that the club’s President, Jokin Aperribay, will travel with his entourage and hopes to get a transfer completed, with a fee of around 12m euros (approx £10.5m) believed to be proposed.

That would represent a small profit for Newcastle after spending £9.2m in total (£2.7m loan fee and then £6.5m permanent transfer fee) but having seen glimpses of real quality from Merino, it would be a bitter blow for Newcastle fans who have seen the potential of somebody who could turn out to be a very good player.

Personal terms are claimed not to be a problem and a five year contract and release clause of around £35m to be included in the contract, such a high amount (or even higher) is the norm in many transfers/contracts on the continent, protection in case a player progresses and their value soars far higher.

  • NUFCDan

    Very short-sighted selling Merino if this is true. I can understand why he wants to leave though since he’s not been playing.

    • Rich Lawson

      I agree,he’s a good prospect and should just be staying and told to fight for a 1st team place.Diame is nearly 10yrs older and we don’t really know what form he will decide to show next season.

  • TheFatController

    I presume after Germany and England he just prefers to go back to Spanish football.

    That he hasn’t played much makes that decision easier for him and the club, but sad to see him go.

    As ever, depends on who he’s replaced with. On this we must presume Rafa has the money all ready to spend – and Ashley might allow him to spend its if he signs a contract (with the devil).

  • Wezza147

    Don’t blame him to be honest. From a financial point of view MA is getting a big profit on him… that won’t be going to Rafa. He will need replacing though. What if Diame or Shelvey get a long term injury? We really would be in big trouble. Unless we take Colback back (no pun intended) he will be like a new signing!
    A shame as I like the guy but if he does go good luck to him. Maybe he knows the owner shows no ambition at all.

    • panther

      people who live in the Amazon know it

    • Breaking even if we are selling for 10M. Initial loan plus buyout plus salaries.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Spoke to him in the lift going up to level six just before kick off at a home game and he was very dejected that he was not even in the squad. A far more talented player than Diame but Rafa picks the team and found the right balance in the second half of the season. Wish him well in a league which is more suited to his skills.

    • TheFatController

      No wonder he wants out. Stuck in an elevator with you.

      Taxi for merino. ‘Where to mate?’

      ‘Anywhere. Just drive.’

    • MichaelMaximusMoose


      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Not a man of many words what do you disagree with above.

    • Wezza147

      Still trying to make out that you’re an nufc fan?

    • Mike Adam

      He led our team in tackles for a great part of the season!

  • Dillon Tovak

    This has got Thauvin written all over it.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      It`s got major bollix written all over it

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    So there you have it,
    The Fat [email protected] is willing to sell our best young player & for £10m,
    then Real will insert a £35m sell clause in the lads contract.
    Says it all about Newcastle United.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    I can see the Scumbags at Nufc dropping it on the lads toes.
    Did he ask for a transfer, i would say no & he`ll be replaced by some 2nd rate Gimp from the championship

  • Alex

    On the other hand, he could turn out to be another Hugo Viana – brilliant at that age, then just not develop at all.

    Time will tell.

    • Leazes.

      Then he’ll give himself a chance by leaving!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Wait until a bid comes in for Jamaal, the you`ll see some fun and games


    • Expecting one for sure for 30m, but I doubt FCB will take it. He knows Lascy is worth at least 45. The problem is that I’ll sell for 45 if Rafa can have it all and time to re-invest, but we all know this is not happening. As far as we know, Rafa has already agreed to walk in the end of next season and already found a club too. Could see him doing great at Dortmund or Monaco.

  • Ram Kishore

    We really don’t know whether the loan fee and transfer fee are separate..
    Since we signed him by October permanently.. I think the loan fee was subsumed into 6.5 million and the total fee is not 9.2 million pounds

  • robbersdog

    Four years from now, Merino (who’ll be at Real Madrid by then) will be starring for Spain at the next World Cup.

    We dropped a clanger by selling Thauvin, and we’re about to drop an even bigger clanger by selling this fella. Even if you look at it in pure financial terms, it doesn’t make sense because he’ll be worth a hell of a lot more than £10.5m in the next few years.

    • Both don’t want to stay. No point in keeping players who don’t want to be at the club. Has been proven time and time again.

      • Mike Adam

        But why doesn’t he want to be here??? Treatment in the second half of the season? Not even on the bench some matches?

    • Kneebotherm8

      A £35 million release clause in his contract says it all about how they rate his potential……….going for a song from here if the reported transfer fee is correct.

  • Paul Patterson

    We don’t know whats gone on. He could be unsettled over here.

  • Tino11

    If we are selling because he has basically begged to go then fair enough, unfortunately the power is with the player so we will have to let him go, not for £10 million though, surely we can get £15 million in todays market? But if we are only selling to raise cash then it’s a bad idea, he will likely triple his value in 3-4 years time if he continues to progress. No doubt fat Ashley is being stingy with the money and that is the real reason we have to sell.

  • Geordieguy

    We need to keep players like merino. Not just as cover / competition for shelvey and diame but so we can be competitive in the league and the cups. Or is our squad just gonna be eleven first team starters with no quality underneath . No wonder we never win anything

  • Kudos to Merino. He tried but his body is not up to Prem physicality. As a basque himself, Sociedad or Bilbao will give him a lenghty contract and treat him with respect. He could revive his career in Spain where defenders don’t break legs without even a bloody foul being given!

  • Mike Adam

    Another mistake by Rafa IMO.