According to Spanish reports, La Liga side Athletic Bilbao have made an enquiry for star midfielder Mikel Merino – asking how much the 21-year old would cost them if we were to be relegated to the Championship.
The Basque side were credited with strong interest in the Spanish U-21 international over the summer, but Merino opted against a move back to his native country, signing with ourselves on loan instead.
Following a string of sublime performances, he’s since signed on a permanent deal from Borussia Dortmund for a fee in the region of £7m – but it seems his former admirers are still keeping in touch to see if a deal can be done IF we were to be relegated.
Bilbao have a strict policy of signing players born in the Basque country, and Merino fits that bill, so it’s easy to see why they’re interested.
It’s no surprise to see interest given how well he’s performed, but let’s hope survival can be achieved to keep the Spanish maestro on Tyneside for at least a few more years yet.