Mikel Merino has left Newcastle United, less than 12 months since he joined.

An official Newcastle United statement confirming the transfer.

The move having first been revealed some weeks ago but taking a long time to happen.

Real Sociedad triggering a release clause, widely reported as being £10.5m.

Newcastle United Official Announcement:

‘Mikel Merino has completed a permanent move to La Liga side Real Socieded.

The 22-year-old leaves St. James’ Park for an undisclosed fee having made 24 Premier League appearances for the Magpies, scoring once in a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Merino initially joined Newcastle United on loan from Borussia Dortmund last summer before the option of a permanent transfer was exercised in October 2017.

The midfielder’s new club, which is based in San Sebastián – just over 50 miles from his hometown of Pamplona, finished 12th in the Spanish top flight last season.

Everyone at Newcastle United wishes the player the best for the future.​’

The Mag – Earlier Today (Thursday 12 July 2018:

Demba Ba was an excellent player for Newcastle United.

He scored 16 goals in 32 Premier League starts (plus 2 as a sub) in his one full (2011/12) season as Newcastle finished a surprise fifth.

Then did even better with 13 goals in only 19 PL starts (and 1 as sub) in 2012/13, then left for Chelsea in January 2013.

As well as being a very good striker for Newcastle, he was also very frustrating.

Harry Redknapp bizarrely revealing to everybody in the first week of January 2012 that Demba Ba had a release clause of well under £10m.

So from the very first transfer window after he arrived, fans were ever fearful that he would leave.

We survived the January 2012 and Summer 2012 windows but the striker jumped ship after only 18 months and 29 goals in 51 PL starts (plus 3 as sub), to go and sit on the bench at Chelsea.

There were constant media stories that Demba Ba was willing to allow his £7.5m release clause to be taken out of the contract, in return for higher wages. Mike Ashley refused.

Newcastle could hardly complain they had got a bad deal, as they picked up Ba for nothing due to a release clause he’d insisted on when joining relegation threatened West Ham midway through the 2010/11 season. The Hammers went down and Newcastle didn’t have to pay a transfer fee, Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye recruited that summer and the key players as NUFC finished fifth.

Which brings us to the present day.

Mikel Merino is leaving after Real Sociedad activated his £10m release clause and Newcastle United can’t do anything about it. Just as with Demba Ba though they can’t complain.

Rafa Benitez explaining that the only reason why Newcastle were able to sign Merino, was because he had a similar release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract.

You get the feeling that the writing  was on the wall once Diame and Shelvey clicked together.

Mikel Merino only got one start after January and that was when Rafa played a changed team away at Liverpool.

I think the manager knew the Spanish Under 21 star was intending to leave some months before the end of the season. Otherwise surely he would at least have given him a couple of games once safety was assured with five or six games to go. Mikel Merino was hardly even used as a sub in those final months, only getting four brief bits of game time off the bench from February to May.

At least one thing in his favour is that Merino is going for the chance to play more football, whilst money was always top of Demba Ba’a agenda.

I don’t wish him badly but it will be hard to take if Mikel Merino becomes the kind of player he hinted at in those first couple of months of last season.

Rafa Benitez on impending departure of Mikel Merino:

“It was a pity because obviously he wanted to play more football.

“He’s a young player and he struggled to get back into the team because Diame and Shelvey were doing so well.

“That meant Merino didn’t get much game time.

“Then we have had three or four Spanish clubs who were interested in him.

“In the end, it was something we couldn’t control because he decided to go.

“We knew that this could happen, so we had to be prepared – and in the end we were….

“Ki Sung-yueng will bring experience, experience in the Premier League, and he has quality.

“Mikel was a young player with great potential but now we have a player who has been there before.

When we first signed Mikel, people forget that the reason we got him from Borussia Dortmund was because he had this condition too.

“He had a release clause which he could use if he was not playing as much as he wanted.

“In this case we did that and he was playing really well for us, I was really pleased with him at the beginning of the season.

“After he had the injury, when he went two months without playing, he played less –  Jonjo and Diame did really well.

“But that is football and we move on.”

  • TheNutJob

    best of luck Mikel, hope you turn out to be a top player

    • Duh

      was playing very well for a young player coming in to the PL, gets a back injury and then sees the emergence of Diame as a world beater to keep him out of the starting 11 – I think he needs some luck.

      • TheNutJob

        i think back in Spain he`ll do well

  • Paul Patterson

    No hard feelings, best wishes, however his sale covers the Yeung,Kenedy and Dubravka deal.

    • Coble’s Return

      Net spend -£6,000,000 – Kerching! Ashley will be glued to the roulette wheel tonight.

      • Rabid Dog

        That’s pretty much word for word what I said when I read it.

    • Leazes.

      Calm down….. you didn’t expect this season to be any different did you?

      • TheNutJob


  • Leazes.

    Ever wondered why the chairman has remained hidden and the owner is never seen?

    • Peter C

      Why, are you saying that they’re one and the same person, impersonating each other.

  • HarryHype59

    Does anyone know how this fee is paid? Is it £10.5m or a five year staggered fee? If it is the latter Rafa will get £2.1m for his transfer pot out of this deal.

    • Jezza

      Rafa won’t get a penny of the Merino fee. NUFC have completed this window’s incoming transfer business with the Kenedy loan.

      • HarryHype59

        I think Mitro to will be sold to Fulham. His replacement will be a loan player or a free.

  • Leicester Mag

    So Shelvey gets injured and plan B is ?

    • Paul Patterson

      A hip-hop recording artist . .

      • Leicester Mag

        He can do a duet with our resident p1$$ artist

    • Jezza

      I wouldn’t worry about Shelvey getting injured. Fatso will probably flog him before the transfer deadline anyway.