Mikel Merino considering Newcastle exit

According to AS, Mikel Merino is open to the idea of leaving Newcastle United in this summer’s transfer window following a frustrating end to the season.

What’s the story?

There are expected to be big changes at St James’ Park this summer, with Magpies boss Rafa Benitez hoping to be able to splash the cash.

Players will also leave as Benitez gets rid of those that struggled last season.

According to AS, Spanish midfielder Merino is aware that a number of La Liga clubs are monitoring his situation at Newcastle, and the 21-year-old is considering a summer exit.

Speculation over a return to Spain has not been too far away from Merino since the turn of the year, and the report claims that he could depart St James’ Park ahead of the 2018-19 campaign in search of regular first-team football.

Should Newcastle let him go?

Merino impressed in the early stages of the 2017-18 campaign, with his performances quickly making him a popular figure with the Newcastle supporters.

In total, he made 25 appearances for the Magpies last term – scoring once and providing one assist.

Merino only played 13 minutes of Premier League football between the middle of March and the end of the season, however, with Benitez preferring other options in midfield.

The Spaniard was on the bench for the matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the final weeks of the campaign, but was not introduced against either club.

It is not a surprise to learn that Merino would be open to leaving Newcastle this summer, but it would he a huge mistake to allow the £9m-rated star – as valued by transfermarkt.co.uk – to depart.

The midfielder has only shown flashes of the ability that convinced Borussia Dortmund to sign him from Osasuna, but there is a serious talent in there, and he could be a star in the Premier League if given the chance next season.