Mikel Merino Reportedly Prefers A Move To Athletic Over Other Clubs
Out of all of the news surrounding Mikel Merino, the most common thread seems to be that the midfielder will be leaving Newcastle this summer. The 21-year-old barely featured in the second half of last season and doesn’t appear to be a major part of Rafa Benitez’s plans moving forward. Owner Mike Ashley is said to be ready to cash in on Merino, but will demand a fee over €11.5 million to do so. In the end it looks like it will be up to the player to decide his future and sources say that he has one eye on the San Mamés.
According to a new report from Pako Ruiz of DEIA, Mikel Merino favors a move to Athletic over other interested clubs. Sources have told Ruiz that the 21-year-old feels very valued by Athletic who have continued to pursue him over the last two years, which has left a strong impression. The midfielder agreed to personal terms with Athletic back in January which will only help their case in trying to seal his transfer this summer.
Furthermore, Ruiz goes on to explain that Merino is aware of the interest from Real Betis and Real Sociedad, but says that neither club have had any talks with Newcastle so far. Meanwhile, Athletic have kept a good relationship with the English side since negotiations in January and the two clubs are scheduled to meet sometime in the coming weeks to discuss the transfer. At this point Newcastle are said to just be waiting for a formal offer from Athletic.
One important thing to keep in mind during is the fact that Athletic have no plans of getting into a bidding war. If Merino wants to come to the San Mamés they are willing to pay for his services, but if the transfer comes down to which club will pay more it will be another story. Hearing that Merino prefers to join Athletic over other clubs should have fans excited because he will have a lot of say in the final decision. He will be the one to decide his future and Athletic are hoping that it will work out in their favor.