LNTUP

Newcastle United in prominent talks with Dortmund’s Spanish youngster

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Newcastle United have reportedly agreed a fee with Borussia Dortmund for the signature of Mikel Merino.

Merino signed for Dortmund from Osasuna last season for £3.1million but he has played just eight games for the Bundesliga side. It is believed that the ball-playing midfielder has struggled to settle into life in Germany.

The 21-year-old arrived on Tyneside on Wednesday to undergo a medical and complete the formalities for a move to St. James’ Park

The Spain U-21 international is combative in a defensive role, but is also good on the ball and will mean Newcastle have two ball-playing central midfielders in front of the back four.

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Merino can also play at centre-back if he is needed which was also an attractive option for Benitez, who will now focus his attention on signing a new striker.

The Newcastle boss has been frustrated by a slow start to the transfer window, which saw the club fail to complete deals for forward Tammy Abraham and keeper Willy Caballero, who ended up joining Swansea and Chelsea respectively.Merino will become the fifth signing of the club and will follow Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo through the door at St James’ Park this summer.

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Dortmund initially only wanted to let him leave on loan but it seems that Newcastle have managed to convince them to do a permanent deal.