Newcastle United supporters have been reasonably satisfied in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side clinch a decent point away at Crystal Palace on Sunday, although they remain firmly in the Premier League relegation dogfight.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the Eagles off the back of drawing 1-1 at home to Burnley in midweek, thus leaving them winless in the league since their New Year’s Day success at Stoke City. And that run stretched to four matches with a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Sunday, with Mo Diame’s first half effort giving the Magpies the lead, only for Luka Milivojevic’s penalty ten minutes into the second period to secure a deserved point for Roy Hodgson’s side, who remain two points clear of Newcastle in the Premier League table.
Thus, there have been many upbeat Magpies fans in the Tavern in recent times, and they are likely to be intrigued by a recent report from The Newcastle Chronicle, which detail that there was no truth in speculation linking midfielder Mikel Merino with a January move to La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao.
The 21-year-old only made the move to St James’ Park during the summer initially on a loan deal until the end of the campaign, only for the North East giants to make that move permanent back in October such was his great start to life at the club.
As such, there was speculation building during the winter window that the Spain Under-21 international could be headed to Athletic Bilbao, although recent reports suggest that there was no truth in those rumours.
And while this news is likely to intrigue Newcastle fans, they will probably be more concerned about the midfielder’s recent injury struggles, which have restricted him to just one Premier League start since the turn of the year.
Landlord’s verdict: It didn’t take Newcastle long to see what a quality player Mikel Merino is, with the North East giants sealing a permanent move for the midfielder a matter of months after he initially joined the club on loan.
And with several fine displays for Rafa Benitez’s side, there was speculation in January that he could be on his way to La Liga club Athletic Bilbao, although recent reports have quashed such rumours, with there no truth in the links.
And this news is sure to interest Newcastle fans, who will now hope that the midfielder is able to return to full fitness ahead of their crucial final 12 Premier League games of the season.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!