Former Newcastle United midfielder eyed by Barcelona – report
Former Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino is a reported summer target for La Liga giants Barcelona.
According to a report in Spanish publication Sport, Merino has a release clause in his Real Sociedad deal, that has alerted Barca, who are thought to be keen to find a stand-in for Sergio Busquets.
Merino left United last summer after just one season at St James’s Park to return to La Liga.
And the 23-year-old has impressed during his campaign in the Basque country, with Barca reportedly exploring the option of triggering his £40million release clause.
Merino was signed from Borussia Dortmund for just £8million after a succesful loan spell.
But, as he has in his current Sociedad deal, Merino had a break clause inserted, with the Magpies getting just £12million for the player.
The report in Sport claims Barca tried to sign Merino before he left Osasuna for Dortmund, but “weren’t able to get a deal done”.
It is not known if United will receive any sell-on fee.