Sky Sports have confirmed that Mikel Merino’s £10m release clause has now been activated by Real Sociedad, with the midfielder now on his way to Spain to complete a return to La Liga.
It has also been confirmed by the Chronicle that Merino has already said goodbye to his teammates – less than a year on from completing his permanent move to St James’ Park.
Mikel Merino is on the verge of return to Spain with Real Sociedad. We understand the La Liga side have activated the midfielder’s £10m release clause and he’ll have a medical by the weekend.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) July 5, 2018
It’s a shame really, but it’s a move that’s felt almost inevitable for several weeks now.
I’m disappointed in Merino as much as anything else. He has been replaced already – although Ki may seem an underwhelming replacement in comparison to a Spanish U-21 international who had a bright future ahead of him – however I question why he and his team demanded a release clause of just £10m when he signed last year.
To me, it shows that he never really saw Newcastle as a long-term destination and we can’t afford to keep players whose heart isn’t in it.
Since Ki arrived on a free, let’s hope we now spend this £10m well.