The summer transfer window hasn’t even officially opened yet, but clubs all across the world are working hard to improve their squads. After not signing a single new player last summer, Athletic needs to bring in fresh faces to help begin the Cuco Ziganda era. Right now, the top target is still Borussia Dortmund’s Mikel Merino, but now they aren’t the only club that is interested in bringing the 20-year-old back to La Liga.
According to a report from Radio Marca Gipuzkoa, Real Sociedad are also interested in signing Mikel Merino and are ready to challenge Athletic for his signature. Valencia and Levante have also shown interest in the midfielder.
So far, all reports have stated that the only way Merino will leave Germany is to sign for Athletic Club. Now that Real Sociedad are interested, no one knows if it will peak his interest. The 20-year-old has been very clear that he is not happy with life at Borussia Dortmund and wants to return to Spain. Coco Ziganda is ready to offer him the chance to become one of the stars of the future at the San Mames in an aging midfield.
Neither club has submitted an official bid to BVB, but Athletic has been in negotiations for a few months now. The Lions want to get the deal done before mid June when Merino will be competing with Spain’s U21 team, but the Germans would rather wait until they name their new manager so that he gets a chance to say whether or not Merino is part of his plans. According to sources close to the situation, if Merino is deemed unnecessary then BVB would be willing to sell him to Athletic Club for roughly €6 million.