Newcastle fans react as Barcelona and Real Madrid eye Mikel Merino move

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…