Arsenal tipped to ‘steal’ Spain star with Gunners given ‘upper hand’ to secure £21m transfer

Lewis Oldham
Reported Arsenal targets Mikel Merino and Nico Williams celebrate a Spain victory
Mikel Merino and Nico Williams celebrate a Spain victory.

According to reports, Arsenal are leading the race to sign Spain international Mikel Merino ahead of Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal are already on the brink of signing one Euro 2024 as they are expected to pay £42m to buy Italy international Riccardo Calafiori from Serie A outfit Bologna.

The Premier League giants have also seemingly been tracking Spain’s progress at Euro 2024. While they look set to miss out on Nico Williams, they are also being linked with Real Sociedad star Merino.

The 28-year-old earned his place in Spain’s Euro 2024 squad after grabbing five goals and three assists in his 32 La Liga appearances for Real Sociedad during the 2023/24 campaign.

Merino has been a bit-part player for Spain at Euro 2024 but has played in all six of their matches as they have reached the final. However, he has made a big impact as he scored a brilliant last-minute header as La Roja beat Germany 2-1 in their quarter-final.

The experienced midfielder could secure a move elsewhere this summer as his current Real Sociedad contract is due to expire in 2025.

His form has attracted interest from Arsenal, with a recent report claiming ‘all roads lead’ to his £21m move to the Emirates as the player has been ‘seduded’ by head coach Mikel Arteta.

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A new report from Spain claims Arsenal ‘could steal a signing from Atletico Madrid’ as the two clubs have him ‘on their agenda’.

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It is said that ‘Merino intends to leave before his free transfer becomes available in twelve months, with the idea of ​​leaving a significant sum of money in the coffers of Real Sociedad’.

It is noted that ‘Atletico Madrid have shown a clear interest in strengthening their midfield with the signing of Merino’, but ‘Arsenal appear to have the upper hand in this race’.

‘Mikel Arteta, the manager of the London side, has identified the Real Sociedad player as a key piece for his future plans, asking the club’s board to make a considerable effort to secure his signing.’

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