Mikel Merino has informed Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez that he wishes to leave the club, according to TeamTalk.
When Merino arrived at the club last summer on loan from Borussia Dortmund, the Newcastle fans were excited by his potential.
The deal was swiftly made permanent, but in recent weeks the midfielder has struggled for game time under Benitez.
In total, the Spaniard has started 14 Premier League matches and has come off the bench in a further eight, but he has only featured in six games in all competitions since the turn of the year.
According to TeamTalk, Athletic Bilbao are interested in signing Merino, who is believed to be keen on returning to Spain and has informed Benitez of his desire to leave.
The report adds that the 21-year-old is unhappy with the manager’s decision to leave him out of recent fixtures.
The midfielder has age on his side and still has room for development, so with that in mind, leaving Newcastle at this time would be too hasty.
Benitez’s main objective is to help the Magpies retain their Premier League status as they sit seven points above the drop.
Merino may not be the finished product, and relying on his young shoulders to help the team survive is not the wisest move.
The Spaniard’s frustration is understandable, particularly as he has played a full 90 minutes just once in his last 10 outings.
However, it would be best for both the player and the club to stick it out for now.