According to Mundo Deportivo, Mikel Merino’s €12m (£10.5m) move to Real Sociedad is now at an ‘advanced stage’ – news that suggests we may be close to summer signing number two after it was made clear that we’d only sell if we secured a replacement.
Interestingly, the Chronicle stated just yesterday that Merino’s move away had been ‘delayed’ until a replacement had been secured. With this and today’s development in mind, has Rafa already found his man to replace Merino?
The report states that progress has been made ‘in recent hours’, suggesting Sociedad have made some sort of breakthrough in their attempts to sign the 21-year-old.
Here’s a snippet from their latest piece:
‘The negotiations between the parties are very advanced after the approaches that have taken place in recent hours.’
The story states that he could be set to sign a 5-year-deal with the La Liga side next week upon his return from holiday, claiming that the fee looks set to be in the region of £10.5m.
So, if this Merino story does turn out to be true, who could be set to replace him?
The likes of Juventus’ Stefan Sturaro, Lille’s Thiago Maia and Bestikas’ Oguzhan Özyakup have all been strongly linked, but I’d like to bet that it’s none of these if we do actually have a replacement readied.
Let’s hope that’s the case anyway. It would be another nail in Rafa’s coffin if Ashley sold Merino without signing a replacement.
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About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.