Barcelona rival Arsenal, Manchester United in Mikel Merino pursuit

Barcelona will compete with Arsenal and Manchester United for Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino, who will cost €60 million.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Mikel Merino is the subject of interest from Barcelona. Arsenal and Manchester United are also interested in signing the Spaniard from La Liga club Real Sociedad. Meanwhile, he has a release clause worth €60 million in his contract with La Real.

Mikel Merino and his Evoluation in La Liga

Mikel Merino has established himself as one of the best midfielders in La Liga since joining Real Sociedad from Newcastle United in July 2018. A graduate of the CA Osasuna youth division, the Spanish midfielder rose in prominence abroad, representing Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle United before returning to Spain nearly half a dozen years ago.

The 27-year-old has come leaps and bounds in the last five and a half years, becoming a mainstay in the middle of the park for his club and country. He is enjoying an excellent 2023/24 campaign, contributing to 11 goals in 36 appearances thus far. Merino has found the back of the net six times while providing five assists. Meanwhile, the player’s progress has not gone unnoticed, capturing the attention of Barcelona, Arsenal, and Manchester United.

A Man in Demand

Merino has been on Barcelona’s radar for a long time. The reigning La Liga champions are in the market for a midfield reinforcement amid uncertainties surrounding the future of Oriol Romeu. The Spaniard is thus a viable target for Barcelona. But the Catalan club’s suffocating financial issues mean they might not be able to trigger his release clause of €60 million.

That is not the case for his Premier League suitors, with Arsenal and Manchester United having the financial strength to pay €60 million to sign Mikel Merino. Arsenal’s interest in the Spanish midfielder is understandable, considering Thomas Partey faces an uncertain future at the Emirates.

As for Manchester United, Casemiro is on the wrong side of 30 and has regressed considerably this season. In addition, Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay face an uncertain future at Old Trafford, while Sofyan Amrabat will not complete a permanent transfer this summer. So, Merino is a viable target for Manchester United.

Barcelona’s entry into the picture complicates matters for Arsenal and Manchester United, even though the Blaugrana might struggle to pay €60 million to secure his services. So, it will be interesting to see if he remains in La Liga beyond the summer or moves to the Premier League.

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