Mikel Merino is currently on duty with the Spain U21 team, but there is certainly a lot of drama surrounding him and Athletic’s pursuit of his signature. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is unhappy with life in Germany after failing to play regularly last season and requested a return back to Spain. However, BVB manager Thomas Tuchel was let go a few weeks ago which may open new doors for Merino. In a recent interview with Diario De Noticas, he revealed that the new coach may change his mind about leaving.
“My future is in Dortmund, but there are other clubs interested and I want to play. It’s true that it was a tough year and I didn’t play as much as I expected. I have learned a lot being at one of the best clubs in the world and training every day with my teammates. Now that a new coach is coming all the players know that we start at the same place. This could open new doors and new options for me to have a beautiful experience.”
In the end, Merino still have to make a decision about his future. After returning to Germany he will get the chance to speak with the new manager and discuss what his potential role in the team would be. Once that has been done, Athletic Club will know whether or not they will be able to sign the 20-year-old.
“I have a long contract – until 2012 – and when I finish with the U21 team I will, in principle, return to Dortmund for the preseason with my teammates. But you never know what can happen…the plans they have for you, your idea of the new season, or what the new coach will think. In principle, my future is with Borussia Dortmund. Everything has variables, so we will have to wait and see what the club wants and the interest from other clubs. I want to play so we will wait to see what happens.”
Athletic Club have been in pursuit of the midfielder for over a year now and have been in negotiations with BVB since March. The Lions are willing to give Merino the chance for regular minutes and to become a starter down the road. If BVB’s new manager does now have the midfielder in his plans, Athletic will make a strong push to finalize the signing. Real Sociedad, Valencia, and FC Koln are also reportedly interested in Mikel Merino.