According to reports on Spanish website El Gol Digital, Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino is a target for La Liga trio Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, and Magpies fans have been quick to have their say on the rumour.
El Gol Digital says that the Spanish clubs believe they can get the 21-year-old for around €20m (approximately £17.7m) next summer, despite the fact that the Tyneside only signed him on a permanent basis last month following an impressive start to his loan spell from Borussia Dortmund.
The Spain U21 international penned a five-year contract at St James’ Park and he has quickly become a key player in central midfield for Rafa Benitez’s men, even scoring the winning goal in the 1-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace in October.
Newcastle supporters took to social media to give their verdict on the rumour, and while one simply said “what a joke”, another said “if Mikel goes it would be the start of the end for Rafa”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
Didn't he already reject Bilbao to come to us? He's bound to end up at one of the top clubs eventually, but not yet. We've really unearthed a gem here
— Hello, I am Nicky (@ORANGEYPURPLE) November 8, 2017
Can't see him leaving this season… 😬
— Baz Latimer (@baz_lat) November 9, 2017
International break and all the bs stories are out. Ings linked now Merino away! Oh Carroll rtns yay silly season reporting per usual.
— carl (@Ccsh007Carl) November 8, 2017
Wat only 17.6 mil, he worth more than that !!!! We miss him big time !!!
— Chris (@smartassunit) November 8, 2017
If Mikel goes it would be the start of the end for Rafa. #NUFC
Players like Merino are what managers build their team on.
Can't see him going anywhere.
— Mark Jobson (@seat87Area_N) November 9, 2017
£17.6m? 🤣🤣🤣 sound 👍🏼 prices these days? U21 Spanish international? Rippin it up in the prem? #tryfiftymill
— Chris Hall (@Chris_Hall1312) November 8, 2017
— MatthewLaidlow (@MatthewLaidlow) November 8, 2017
Haha what a joke
— OnlyToon (@OnlyToonArmy) November 9, 2017
I'd hope we'd ask for a massive amount more than that and actually keep him to build a team around.
— Simon (@LittleHenryD) November 8, 2017