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Man Utd Transfer News: Red Devils ‘closely follow’ forgotten ex-Newcastle fan favourite Mikel Merino

Tom Weber

  • Updated: 12 Mar 2024 11:43 GMT
  • 3 min read
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, 2023/24

Manchester United are keeping tabs on Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino, according to Spanish media.

The 27-year-old has established himself as a very important cog in Erreala’s engine room, helping them reach the Champions League knockouts this term. It is easy to forget that Merino was once on the books at Newcastle United.

Borussia Dortmund had signed the Spaniard as a youngster from Osasuna in 2016 and big things were expected of him. However, his time in the Bundesliga did not go to plan and Merino only made a grand total of nine senior appearances for the Black and Yellow.

Newcastle, then coached by Rafa Benitez, came calling and took the midfielder on loan, where he immediately impressed and became a regular fixture in the Magpies’ midfield in the Premier League. Newcastle made his move permanent for €7 million in 2018, but not even two weeks later, he departed for Real Sociedad for €12m, later revealing that he wanted to be closer to home.

Now a mature and well-respected midfielder in the Basque Country, Merino could perhaps be tempted to go on another adventure abroad.

Mikel Merino
© IMAGO – Mikel Merino

Man Utd keen

According to Cope, the 27-year-old is currently in a contract stalemate with his side, which is making him an increasingly intriguing prospect on the market. Merino’s current deal is up in 2025, meaning that Real will need to sell or risk losing him for nothing.

The Spanish outlet claims that Man Utd are one of the clubs attentive to the situation. It is claimed that the Red Devils “closely follow his performances” and have been impressed with what they have seen.

Man Utd will certainly be in the market for new midfielders in the summer. Though Merino boasts a €60m release clause, it is clear that Real Sociedad might have to settle for less if they wish to cash in on him to avoid him running down his contract. Merino currently has an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €18.5m.

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