La Liga outfit Real Sociedad have this afternoon confirmed the signing of Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino.
22-year-old Spanish youth international Merino joined Borussia Dortmund from Osasuna in 2016, having played an impressive role for Los Rojillos despite his tender years.
A versatile player who is equally adept in either central defence or a deep-lying midfield position, Merino has often been likened to fellow Osasuna youth product Javi Martinez, now of Bayern Munich.
Despite standing at almost 6ft 3inches tall, the youngster is a master on the ball, and has long been lauded for both his intelligence and ability to keep hold of possession.
As such, upon Newcastle United confirming Merino’s signature last summer, it was viewed as quite a coup for the Magpies.
The young midfielder made the move to St. James’ Park on an initial loan deal, which was then made permanent last October.
However, Merino’s time on Tyneside has since proven a rather up-and-down affair, as, despite impressing when he has taken to the pitch, the Spaniard only actually managed 14 starts in the Premier League over the course of the campaign.
A number of La Liga clubs were subsequently touted as potential destinations for Merino of late, with all of Sevilla, Real Betis, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad named as admirers.
Sociedad were named as the clear frontrunners to actually secure a deal for the Magpies’ star, though, with mounting reports over recent weeks having claimed that the Spanish outfit were ready to pay Merino’s release clause (thought to be in the region of 10-12 million Euro).
And, following lengthy negotiations between the clubs over the last couple of days, La Real have this afternoon made the 22-year-old’s signing official across the club’s social media channels:
— Real Sociedad (@RealSociedadEN) July 12, 2018