Prem trio to compete with Barcelona for ex-Newcastle midfielder

Jason Soutar
Reported Barcelona target Mikel Merino celebrates a goal

Barcelona, Man City, Borussia Dortmund, Newcastle and Liverpool are all interested in signing Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino, according to reports.

Merino spent 2017/18 on loan at St James’ Park, making 25 appearances before joining Sociedad on a permanent basis in 2018.

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He has impressed for the La Liga side and made his debut for the Spanish national team in a Nations League game against Germany in 2020.

The 25-year-old’s form has seen him linked with Liverpool in the past.

And according to Fichajes, the Reds ‘followed’ him in January and will compete against Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle to land him in the summer transfer window.

Merino is expected to be ‘one of the great topics of the summer window’. It is said that Barcelona have already made an ‘official approach’.

Man City’s name has also been thrown in the mix by El Confidencial.

The Spanish midfielder has a release clause of €60m (£50m) and is under contract with Sociedad until 2025.

City will play in the Spanish capital on Wednesday night when they take on Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

After supporters of the Spanish side were caught on camera appearing to perform Nazi salutes in the first leg, UEFA ordered Atletico to close a part of their stadium for Wednesday’s tie.

The La Liga club must also display a banner containing the wording ‘#NoToRacism’, in addition to the UEFA logo.

The decision of UEFA’s appeals body read: “To order the partial closure of the Club Atletico de Madrid stadium during the next UEFA competition match in which Club Atletico de Madrid would play as the host club, for the discriminatory behaviour of its supporters.

“Club Atletico de Madrid shall inform prior to the match, the sector(s) to be closed, which shall at least comprehend 5,000 seats.”