Newcastle United fans in the Transfer Tavern could be set to say goodbye to one of their players after a brief stay with the club as he looks to head back home.
Midfielder Mikel Merino has reportedly told manager Rafa Benitez that he wants to return to Spain and join Athletic Bilbao in the summer, according to TEAMtalk. The 21-year-old joined the Magpies initially on a season-long loan deal from Borussia Dortmund before being signed permanently in October after impressing at the beginning, signing a five-year contract in the process.
However, he has since found life tough at St. James’ Park and has struggled to be involved with the first-team and has learned off the interest from the Basque giants. Indeed, Merino is from the Northern region of Spain and is thought to be keen to return and restart his career.
As you can imagine, this is terrible news for our punters clad in black and white. Despite his inconsistent form of late, the Spanish U21 international is a hugely popular figure on Tyneside and the idea of losing him so quickly would seriously hurt our resident Geordies.
Newcastle fans in the Tavern will be disappointed that Merino already wants to leave Tyneside, however, if they can get a fair sum of money for him, then they would not mind too much. Locals are keen for their side to build for next season and will not want a player unhappy at the club when they could offload him this summer.
Merino could be a wonderful player one day though if he’s not happy in England, there isn’t much the love of the St. James’ Park crowd can do for him.
Newcastle fans, what do you think of Merino’s desire to leave the club? Let us know below!
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