Athletic Club Will Not Overpay To Sign Mikel Merino
By now Athletic fans are tired of the Mikel Merino saga. This summer will mark the fourth consecutive transfer window in which the club has tried to sign the midfield starlet and at this point it has dragged on for so long that many have begun to tune out all of the rumors and reports. Interestingly, it now looks as if Athletic are starting to feel the same way and don’t want to get into another soap opera over the next few months.
According to a breaking report from Nika Cuenca of Fiebre Rojiblanca, Athletic will not overpay to sign Mikel Merino. Their interest in the 21-year-old is very much real and if he wants to come to the San Mamés they are willing to pay to bring him to the club, but they are not interested in getting into a bidding war with other clubs like Real Betis who are also on the prowl. Up until now the rumored price for Merino has been €15 million, a fee that isn’t too high for the Lions, but if it continues to climb with other clubs getting involved then Athletic will likely take themselves out of the running.
New manager Eduardo Berizzo is said to like the Newcastle midfielder, but doesn’t believe that he is an irreplaceable target. He is also very excited about working with Unai López who played brilliantly while on loan with Rayo Vallecano last season, and has even shown interest in bringing back Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta. The Argentine is also looking forward to trying to rediscover the best football from other midfielders like Ander Iturraspe, Beñat, and Mikel San José. The truth of the matter, according to the report, is that Berizzo would like to sign Mikel Merino, but he doesn’t believe he is worth an astronomical fee when there are other options to consider.
If Mikel Merino is going to come to the San Mamés this summer it will be because he wants to play for Athletic and has made that decision. If the transfer doesn’t materialize, Berizzo seems confident that he will still be able to field a very strong team that can be successful in La Liga. It’s going to be a long summer at Athletic Club, but the Lions don’t seem to be interested in any more drama.