Liverpool and Newcastle United are among the clubs interested in signing Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino in the summer transfer window.
According to Fichajes, Newcastle United and Liverpool have set their sights on Spanish international Mikel Merino. The Real Sociedad midfielder has emerged as an in-demand prospect in the market, with recent reports suggesting both Barcelona and Real Madrid are keen on snapping him up in the near future.
Merino progressed through the ranks at Osasuna before making the switch to Borussia Dortmund as a 19-year-old, where he rose to prominence as a highly-rated young midfielder.
A move to Newcastle United followed, but Merino returned to Spain in search of regular first-team football, joining Real Sociedad, where he is now one of the club’s most important players. The 25-year-old has played a crucial role in establishing Real Sociedad as a regular top-six La Liga club in recent seasons, as well as the recent Copa del Rey triumph.
A consistent performer for the Basque club, the 25-year-old has made almost 150 appearances, chipping in with 16 goals and as many assists. Merino is enjoying another decent campaign in La Liga, putting in several eye-catching displays at the heart of Real Sociedad’s midfield, notching up three goals and four assists from 26 La Liga outings.
His impressive displays have led to teams such as Barcelona earmarking him as a potential target, but there is also interest from overseas clubs in the Premier League and Bundesliga. Two teams said to be interested in the 25-year-old are Liverpool and Newcastle United.
Currently, Jurgen Klopp has an ageing midfield unit at his disposal, with Jordan Henderson, James Milner, and Thiago Alcantara all in their thirties. With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita struggling with injury problems since arriving at the club and facing uncertain futures, it makes complete sense for Liverpool to plan on refreshing their midfield options.
To that end, Merino would be a good fit at Anfield and fits Klopp’s recruitment profile. A versatile player who can operate in different positions across the midfield, the Spanish international can dictate the game’s tempo with his elegant passing, tackling and game reading. He also covers a lot of ground and has a steeliness about him, something Klopp likes in his players.
Meanwhile, a return to a reborn Newcastle United is also a possibility. Under Eddie Howe, the Magpies are on the right track, and their win over Wolves on Friday has put them on the verge of Premier League safety.
They can now start planning for the upcoming window as the new owners aim to assemble a competent team ahead of the next season. At 25, Merino is at the peak of his powers and his previous Premier League experience should also come in handy for Newcastle.
Apart from Newcastle and Liverpool, Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund could also be interested in bringing Merino back to Signal Iduna Park. The 25-year-old is under contract in Spain until 2025 and would not come cheap by any means. As things stand, everything remains purely speculative, with no formal approaches for the Spanish international.