Newcastle United fans were buzzing when Mikel Merino joined the club from Borussia Dortmund on loan last summer.
They were even more thrilled when the midfielder signed a permanent deal in October 2017.
The Spaniard committed the next five years of his career to the North-East outfit, but just nine months later it appears that he is on his way out.
Sky Sports News reported on Thursday that Real Sociedad have agreed to meet a £10m release clause in Merino’s contract.
There was plenty of promise surrounding the 22-year-old when he joined the Magpies last year, but he ended up making just 25 appearances for the club in the 2017-18 campaign and scored one goal.
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It soon became clear that Merino was not the right fit for Rafael Benitez’s team, and it looks as though a return to Spain is on the cards.
The figure is not a bad one either considering that Transfermarkt have the midfielder valued at £9m.
Newcastle fans have been taking to Twitter to deliver their opinions on Merino’s imminent departure.
Did like Merino, but he’s obviously got no stomach for a fight. Our squad can’t afford people like that in its ranks. Adios! #NUFC
— JOSH (@JoshsOpinion) July 6, 2018
Merino didn’t want to be here and in all honesty was he really that good? He couldn’t displace a 31yo diame from the starting 11! People get too hung up with players ages in football! #NUFC
— Alyn Bateman (@b8man84) July 6, 2018
I mean, I feel we’d have a lot more cause to be bitter over Merino had he kept the form shown between August and October last year. Victim of poor circumstances, but imagine what he’d be perceived to be worth given a full season of quality. Clause still there, be shocking! #nufc
— Ryan (@doyleryan9) July 6, 2018
Merino literally had around 4/5 good games, signed his deal got injured and couldn’t get in the team and when he did looked average and clearly had his head elsewhere. If he doesn’t want to be here let him go and get somebody else in who wants to play for #nufc
— Ryan Hudson (@ry_hudson91) July 6, 2018
Why did #nufc allow Merino to issue that statement about being fully committed when he clearly wanted to be away?
— David Punton (@DavePunton) July 5, 2018
Merino wouldn’t have got into our starting XI at the end of last season, no problem with him leaving.. good luck to him ??♂️ #nufc
— James King (@jamesg_king) July 5, 2018
Merino clearly needs regular football but after repeated shouts of resale value on players, making no profit at all on a top young talent less than a year after signing is ludicrous. Whoever authorised that release clause has some major explaining to do #NUFC
— Richard Gunston (@RichardGunston) July 5, 2018