Real Sociedad Sign Mikel Merino In €12m Deal

Real Sociedad have signed Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino from Premier League side Newcastle United.

The 22-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year deal after the Spanish La Liga side agreed to pay the €13m (£10m) release clause in his Newcastle United contract.

Mikel Merino initially joined Newcastle United from Borussia Dortmund on loan last summer before the move was made permanent in October 2017.

On his transfer to Spain, Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez revealed that the move was mainly because of his lack of playing time last season.

In his words, Benitez said: “It was a pity because obviously he wanted to play more football.”

“He is a young player and he struggled to get back into the team because [Mo] Diame and [Jonjo] Shelvey were doing so well.

“That meant Merino didn’t get much game-time, then we had three or four Spanish clubs who were interested in him.

“In the end it was something we couldn’t control because he decided to go.

“We knew that could happen, so we had to be prepared – and in the end we were.” The former Real Madrid and West Ham United boss concluded.