Athletic Reportedly Interested In Real Sociedad Winger Martín Merquelanz
Iñigo Vicente isn’t the only player on loan that has enjoyed an outstanding season with Mirandés. Martín Merquelanz has been one of the best players all of Segunda B this year, scoring 13 goals and providing 10 assists over 33 appearances, and has attracted the interest of several clubs. Following the immense success, his future with Real Sociedad is in question.
Merquelanz has only one year left on his contract and has yet to agree to a renewal. According to a report from Mikel Recalde of Noticias Gipuzkoa, an offer has been made but the 24-year-old is in no hurry to put pen to paper. Instead, Merquelanz prefers to wait and see what his situation at the club will be when he returns from loan.
Real Sociedad are said to be frustrated by the situation as the club wants to finalize a renewal as soon as possible. Merquelanz has said on multiple occasions that he wants to succeed at the club, but it would be very difficult to earn a place in the current squad with so much depth already at the wide positions.
Merquelanz plans to spend the preseason with Real Sociedad, but isn’t opposed to leaving the club if he’s not going to have a role in the team. Athletic were specifically mentioned as a club interested in signing the left-winger, though it would be nearly impossible for the Lions to bring Merquelanz to San Mamés next season.
In addition to Real Sociedad being absolutely unwilling to negotiate a transfer, Merquelanz currently has a €50 million release clause that Athletic have no interest in paying. Athletic would have to wait until the player’s contract expires in 2021 to have a chance of signing him for free, but even that creates a problem as La Real could look to cash in Merquelanz by selling him if he refuses to sign a new deal.
Ultimately, Athletic’s interest in Merquelanz may not lead to anything. The possibility of signing the attacker is very low and there are many young players coming through Lezama that could become key players on the wing. Torino’s Alex Berenguer is also on the club’s radar.
“We have the market that we have,” said Athletic Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta when asked about the reported interest in Merquelanz during an interview with Onda Vasca. “We’re interested in any player who can wear the Athletic shirt and Martín is one more. It’s normal. This season I have seen much more of his game because he’s coincided with Iñigo Vicente, Iraola, and (Jon) Gurudi. They are players in our orbit because we can sign them, not outsiders, but he has a contract with Real and a large release clause.”
Merquelanz’s incredible season with Mirandés has turned heads. He’s shown the ability to score goals, create chances, and take on defenders which are all qualities that would benefit Athletic. The interest in Martín Merquelanz should come as no surprise, but unless his contract is allowed to expire next year it’s very unlikely that he will be making a move to Athletic.