There’s a report from a couple of days ago in Spanish publication AS that Athletic Bilbao will come back in with a bid of €15M (£13M) for Newcastle’s 21-year-old Mikel Merino this summer.
Athletic came in for Merino in the January transfer window, but Rafa immediately turned down the bid for the player he paid £6M for in the summer.
That’s when Merino was transferred permanently to Newcastle from Borrusia Dortmund.
Mikel Merino – £13M bid coming over the summer for him
When Rafa was asked in January if Merino was happy to be at Newcastle he said the following:
“Yes, that was clear at the beginning.”
And the AS report is that Athletic Bilbao are expecting to be turned down again by Newcastle.
Rafa put a damper on the reports coming from Spain in January that Mikel could move from Newcastle.
In the summer we could be offered more than twice the money Newcastle signed him for in late summer.
Back in January the Chronicle said it was the Spanish journalists and the Bilbao club themselves who were putting out the news that Mikel Merino could leave the Magpies and join Athletic Bilbao.
Mikel will be targeted by the Spanish press because he is captain of the Spanish U21 team.
He is also predicted to possibly be one of Spain’s top players in the years ahead so there will be news about him in Spain.
It doesn’t help with the rumors that he is finding it difficult to get back his first-team place in the Newcastle team.
Last summer and in January clubs like Valencia, Real Betis, Athletic Bilbao, Cologne, and Hamburg were interested in signing him from Borrusia Dortmund.
But any reports that suggest Mike Ashley will tell Rafa to sell this player in the summer are unfounded.
The last thing Mike Ashley wants to do in the summer is upset Rafa Benitez any further.
If Rafa is to sign a new and extended contract at Newcastle the owner will need to agree to support him in upcoming transfer windows
Rafa will no doubt create a (long) list of how he wants to manage the club and Mike Ashley will have to agree to them is Rafa is to sign.
The list will not include selling one of the top young talents in the club we paid only £6M for last summer.
What do you think?