Breaking news in the last few moments as Newcastle have completed the loan signing of Mike Merino from Borussia Dortmund, with NUFC having an obligation to buy the Spaniard following the completion of his loan.
Merino is a defensive minded central midfielder by trade, but can also operate at centre back – standing 6ft 2′ tall – and is a considerable coup for the club, with the 21-year old having been in talks with Atletico Bilbao this summer after impressing in this summer’s European Championships.
Despite making just 8 appearances in the Bundesliga, he was considered to be one of Dortmund’s top young assets, however the Spaniard wants regular first team football and Newcastle were alerted by his alleged €7M buy-out clause – which we look set to pay following the completion of his loan spell to make the deal a permanent one.
Here’s what Merino and NUFC boss Rafa Benitez have had to say following today’s confirmation:
“It feels good and I’m very happy to be here, to be part of this club. I’m looking forward to touching the ball, meeting my new team-mates and starting to play football.
“I know it’s a great club and a really nice city. I had different options but I think this is the right place for me to play.”
“Mikel is a midfielder with talent, an under-21 international for Spain. He’s a good size, has quality on the ball and he’s very, very focused and professional. Hopefully he’s the kind of player we can improve a lot – he certainly has the mentality to get better and better.
“He comes from a top side in Dortmund and although he did not play too much last season, he was signed as a young, talented player and to be signed by a club like that shows that he has something good. He has to show what he has, and hopefully he can enjoy playing here for a long time.”