Spanish giants Sevilla have joined the hunt to sign Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino, according to a report.
The Chronicle claims that the La Liga club have expressed an interest in the 23-year-old, as the Magpies weigh up is future amid interest this summer.
It is understood that Real Sociedad have already submitted a £10million bid for the deep-lying playmaker, while Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao are also keen in the Spaniard.
The report details that manager Rafael Benitez wants to keep him at St James’ Park, but his agent has been trying to attracting interest from other clubs after he dropped out of the starting XI.
Football Insider verdict:
Newcastle fans will be furious if they lose Merino this summer and a potential £10million departure seems like poor business on their behalf. Sevilla are the latest team to join the race for the left-footed pass master and the widespread interest in him just highlights how highly-rated he is. Benitez has the intention to keep him at St James’ Park and there is no reason that he can’t break back into the starting XI next season. He is a young player that is desperate for regular action, which is why being stuck behind Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey in the pecking order last season will have hurt him. However, Newcastle is the perfect platform for him to develop and he has certainly shown enough signs to prove he can be a big success in the Premier League in years to come. Newcastle supporters quickly made Merino a big favourite following his impressive start last season and they need to convince to stay, or alternatively spark a bidding war for his signature.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, six teams are in the hunt to sign the club’s colossus on loan.