According to the Daily Mail, Real Sociedad have now launched a £10.5m bid for Mikel Merino – with it looking increasingly likely that the Spaniard will leave Newcastle this summer.
Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis have been strongly linked with the midfielder, but it seems like Real Sociedad are now the club pressing on with their attempts to sign the midfielder.
With Rafa rightfully demanding that a replacement is found before we sell, I would question whether £10.5m is enough for a player of his age and ability. We’ll be banking on unearthing another gem if we want to replace him with that sort of money?
It’s been a strange year for Merino. His first few months at the club were dazzling, making some wonder just how much longer we’d be able to hold onto him before one of the big boys came in for him.
Fast forward 6 months and he looks set to leave after a really disappointing 2018. Injuries and a subsequent dip in fitness and form have not helped his case (with Diame and Shelvey keeping him out the side over the second half of the season), however I suspect that something else is going on.
Is he missing home? Is he unsettled on Tyneside? Or has he simply not been given the assurances that he’ll be playing week in week out under Rafa Benitez?
Either way, a move back to La Liga is looking more and more likely. The question is, is £10.5m really enough for a player of his talent and potential? I don’t think so myself.