By Danny Wright

Newcastle will be able to turn Mikel Merino’s temporary stay at St. James’ Park into a permanent one if he plays at least 20 matches next season, according to a report.

The Newcastle Chronicle claims that the Magpies have already paid £2.7million for the 21-year-old’s for just the one season in a loan deal from Borussia Dortmund.

It is understood that a further £6.5million will have to be stumped up in order for Newcastle to complete a permaneny deal, but that depends on the conditions of the amount of competitive games he plays.

With the Premier League season kicking off next week, Rafa Benitez is still said to be on the lookout to make additions to his squad.

The report says that Aleksander Mitrovic and Karl Darlow are two first-team players that could potentially be sold by the Magpies this summer as they look to find extra funds to ensure that they achieve a respectable position back in the top-flight.

Merino only moved to Dortmund last season but it appears that the German side are now considering letting the Spaniard leave them for good.

He played just nine times across all competitions for the Bundesliga side last season, starting just twice.

Football Insider Verdict

This is a very clever piece of business from Newcastle. Benitez will surely have a good knowledge of the young Spanish midfielder, so he can be completely trusted in that regard. It seems that Benitez has big plans for Merino and with the 20-game clause in his deal, he must have decided that he will be featuring in the first-team this season. £6.5million isn’t a bad fee for a player like Merino, who is young, versatile and looks like he has a lot of potential to reach. Newcastle need to push on though now and announce the arrivals of a few more new players. A striker and a goalkeeper appear to be Benitez’s main aims.

In other Newcastle news, the Magpies are joint favourites to sign this Premier League forward.

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