It has been nearly 700 days since Athletic Club last made a transfer signing. Considering this fact, it makes it even more remarkable that the Lions have qualified for European competition for four consecutive seasons. Still, the Basque giants want to bring in some new talent and have had their eyes set on Mikel Merino for over a year now. The midfielder wants more regular playing time and favors a move to the San Mames. The potential deal is now closer than ever.According to a report from El Correo, Athletic Club is in advanced negotiations with Borussia Dortmund to sign Mikel Merino. They claim that the player has practically agreed to personal terms with the Basque giants and all that is left is for Athletic and BVB to come to an agreement on the transfer fee.
Mikel Merino has been unhappy since joining Borussia Dortmund last season. The 21-year-old expected to play a regular role in the team but barely saw the pitch. He featured in only eight Bundesliga matches, starting only three times. He has the quality to become a world class midfielder and he knows that he needs to play consistently to realize that dream. Before last season came to an end he requested to be transferred back to Spain, knowing that Athletic was interested and was willing to offer him an important role at the San Mames. Other clubs such as Real Sociedad, Valencia, and Alaves are also interested in the BVB man, but reports claim that he only wants to join Athletic.
Since then, manager Thomas Tuchel was relieved of his duties at BVB and replaced by Peter Bosz. While on international duty with Spain’s U21 team, Merino said that he would wait until he returned to Germany to speak with his new manager to find out what his future looks like at the club. If he isn’t guaranteed regular minutes he will once again request a transfer. The fact that Athletic are in advanced stages of negotiations should be a good sign to fans who hope to see Merino make the switch to the San Mames this summer. Furthermore, on Wednesday the midfielder removed the line “player for BVB” from his official Instagram page. This has led fans to believe that the move is imminent.