By David Woods

21st Jun, 2018 | 10:54am

Report: Top-flight side launch eight-figure bid for Newcastle star signed in 2017

Real Sociedad have made a £10.5million bid for Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claims that Merino has said he is happy at St James’ Park but that he could be lured back to Spain in search of more game time.

Merino only started 14 Premier League games for Newcastle last season, with 25 appearances in all across all competitions.

He was on the bench seven times in the final few months of the season.

Football Insider verdict:

When Merino first joined it looked like Rafa Benitez had unearthed a real star, but as the season wore on the midfielder spent less and less time on the pitch. Newcastle bought him in October last year after he made a certain number of appearances for the club, and could yet decide to sell him on in the summer if finances dictate. They bought him for just over £6million and if they can get over £4million profit then Benitez might feel he has no choice but to cash in. That all depends on his plans for next season and how Merino fits into them, but money is tight at St James’ Park and Merino might fall victim to the wheeling and dealing Benitez will be forced to do again by Mike Ashley. It would be a shame. He’s only 21-years-old and there’s a chance he could develop into a special talent if he’s given time and encouragement under Benitez. Unfortunately, that’s a luxury the manager doesn’t have at the moment. 

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