By Danny Wright

Newcastle are on the verge of signing Mikel Merino from Borussia Dortmund on a permanent basis, according to a reliable journalist.

The Daily Mail’s north-east correspondent Craig Hope claimed on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon that the 20-year-old was on Tyneside ahead of a transfer.

It is also understood that the Spain Under-21 international is currently undergoing a medical with the Magpies, who look to be on the cusp of securing their fifth signing of the summer.

Merino had only moved to European giants Borussia Dortmund from Osasuna last summer, but found it hard to adjust to life in Germany as he earned just two starts in the entire 2016/17 Bundesliga season.

He featured just nine times for Dortmund across all competitions and his club confirmed on Wednesday that the midfield enforcer, who can also play at centre-back, had been left out of their pre-season training squad and was in talks with another ream.

Spanish newspaper Marca had reported on their website that the Magpies had agreed to sign Merino on a season-long loan deal. However it now appears that his switch to Tyneside will become permanent and will join Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo in signing for the club this summer.

Football Insider Verdict

Merino would made a decent addition to Rafa Benitez’s squad, and the manager’s links to Spain look like they have once again come in useful for this deal. Merino didn’t look to have much of a chance at Dortmund last season, but then again he was on the books at a massive team that boasts a wealth of top-quality talent. Newcastle would be a step down, but sometimes young players must do that in order to earn senior appearances and make strides towards reaching their potential. There’s no way that this can be a bad deal for United or the player, who could be a good back-up option to Isaac Hayden or one of the centre-backs next season.

In other Newcastle news, a reunion is on the cards as this defender looks to secure a transfer.

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