According to Spanish outlet AS, claim that Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis are ‘expected to negotiate’ a deal to sign Mikel Merino from Newcastle United this summer, however there’s one big element of this story that doesn’t make sense – our alleged €10m asking price.
The Spanish media just love linking Mikel Merino with a move back to his homeland, and not only do they now believe Bilbao AND Real Betis are in for the 21-year-old, they reckon we’d sell for €10m – which is just over £8.5m.
Even if we were considering cashing in on him this summer, there’s absolutely no chance that we’ll be willing to accept an offer as low as that in this day and age.
He’s a Spanish U-21 international, he’s contracted until 2022, he’s proven his capabilities in England, Germany and Spain and we paid £7m (plus an initial £2m loan fee) to sign him last year.
I have no doubt that there’s interest from Spain – especially from Bilbao given he’s a Basque player they could sign – however I’m having absolutely none of it that Newcastle are “expected to negotiate with the clubs that intend to take the player” – as AS have claimed this morning.
It’s an odd situation and his future does need clarifying as soon as possible, but I can assure you that Newcastle will not be cashing in on Mikel Merino for little over £8m this summer. Try double that, and even then I’m against selling a player of his potential.