Newcastle United supporters have been pretty despondent in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side go down 1-0 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, in turn suffering their second successive Premier League defeat.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the struggling Cherries off the back of losing 1-0 to Burnley in their previous outing, but would have been hoping for home comforts against Eddie Howe’s side given that they had lost just once at St James’ Park prior to kick-off. However, the Magpies produced a limp display and were duly punished late on as Steve Cook headed home in injury-time to seal a 1-0 victory for the South Coast outfit, a result which moved them out of the Premier League’s bottom three.
For Newcastle though, several of our resident supporters were far from impressed with their team’s efforts on Saturday, and they are unlikely to be overly encouraged by a recent report from El Gol Digital, which suggests that midfielder Mikel Merino is attracting interest from La Liga.
The 21-year-old initially joined the Magpies on loan back in July but secured a permanent deal with the club only last month after an impressive start to the season, which has saw him start six of their nine Premier League matches before a back injury ruled him out of the last two.
And with the winning goal in their 1-0 success over Crystal Palace back in October, the Spain Under-21 international has certainly made a key impact at St James’ Park, and he has thus attracted the attention of teams in his homeland as reports suggest that Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona, and Real Madrid are interested in the midfielder.
Thus, despite penning a five-year contract last month, the Magpies could well face a huge battle keeping the talented 21-year-old in the coming transfer windows.
Landlord’s verdict: Much was made about Newcastle United’s struggles to land key targets during the summer transfer window, yet they certainly found a gem from Germany in Borussia Dortmund’s Mikel Merino.
The 21-year-old has been excellent for the Magpies and duly made his loan deal permanent last month to pledge his future to the North East giants, yet reports suggest that a trio of Spanish clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, are keeping tabs on his progress.
That is quite the endorsement for the Spain Under-21 international, and if he does continue his fine form in the middle of Rafa Benitez’s team, Newcastle may find it tough keeping the midfield sensation in the coming windows.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!