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Top Youngster Close To Leaving Newcastle – But New Complication Arises

Real Sociedad are keen on taking Newcastle’s 21-year-old Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino back to Spain.

And the news today is that Newcastle have expressed an interest in Sociedad’s 26-year-old goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli who was on loan at Real Sociedad before being signed by Manchester City in 2016.

After signing for City the Argentine was then sent back to Real Sociedad for another loan deal before signing permanently for the Spanish side last summer.

There’s a report in Mundo Deportivo today that Real want to complete the deal for Mikel Merino as soon as possible.

With Rulli currently with the Argentine side in Russia, he would certainly slow things down if Newcastle want to do a player exchange.

Real Sociedad’s 26-year-old Argentine goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli

Rulli’s Sociedad contract has another four years to run, but Manchester City have a buy-back option for £12M that they must execute before the end of this month – if they want the goalkeeper back at City.

Liverpool are also interested in signing Rulli this summer as their new number one goalkeeper.

The report is that Real Sociedad would need to pay around €12M (£10.5M) for Merino, but it’s going to take a lot more than that for Rafa to let one of his top young players leave the club.

It seems that Merino doesn’t want to sit on the bench at Newcastle, but if that’s the case, then Rafa could always sanction a loan deal for the 21-year-old who is in New York on vacation right now with his family.

Newcastle signing Rulli and Merino (possibly) moving to Real Sociedad will need to be two separate transactions.

Rafa does seem to be after another goalkeeper this summer even though we have just signed 29-year-old Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague.

So maybe Karl Darlow or Rob Elliot will leave the club this summer if the manager does bring in another goalkeeper to back up the Slovakian International.

Comments welcome.

53 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 16, 2018 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #41


    Are you saying he was travelling by jet, if so assuming it travels at around 500 mph and allowing for his motel stopover, lets say 10 hours that would put him at 14 x 500 miles away = 7000 miles from Tulsa. So he probably wasn’t in America.

  • chicousa

    Jun 16, 2018 at 2:35 AM

    Comment #42

    24 hours being a measure of time rather than distance, means he could be virtually anywhere. But in reading the lyrics of the song he might as well be a million miles from home as he is telling his wife he is “gone”.

  • chicousa

    Jun 16, 2018 at 2:37 AM

    Comment #43

    He could also be in Chico, California! 😉

  • Sav

    Jun 16, 2018 at 4:26 AM

    Comment #44

    Why would Rafa asell Merino to Sociedad? Because they want him and he’s Basque? Oh, well we better let him go then…or on loan – what rubbish. We have Diame and Shelvey, both prone to inconsistency, plus Hayden in CM positions. Only Merino is good enough to put pressure on the first choice pairing so if we are short of funds, why would Rafa loan him only to have to pay big money for a replacement. And with one or maybe two strikers to buy urgently, why waste resources replacing a good young player who wants to play – oh yeah, Real Sociedad.

  • toonincheek

    Jun 16, 2018 at 6:52 AM

    Comment #45


    Totally agree with your assessment, but if the lad wants to leave . . .
    I just hope he stays at least one more season.

  • Jib

    Jun 16, 2018 at 7:29 AM

    Comment #46

    If you were from the Pamplona region
    Tyneside would be a very tough place to
    enjoy !!!!!

  • Nufc-83

    Jun 16, 2018 at 7:32 AM

    Comment #47

    If the lad definitely wants to leave then let him go for 15m and sell Hayden as well. Bring in two players who are both good enough to compete with shelvey and Diame but are young enough to be happy on the bench..easier said than done I suppose.

  • Ron Knee

    Jun 16, 2018 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #48

    Re 24 Hours from Tulsa

    Pitney seems to have been travelling across the River Severn in an empty minibus:


  • martoon

    Jun 16, 2018 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #49

    I’m sorry I can’t agree about Merino. The lad was quite happy to sign a contract only last season – he is only young he can’t just flounce off to another team because he is not first choice. He has to show some balls and stay and fight for his place, it will be a long season he will be given a chance and has to take it!

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Jun 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

    Comment #50

    bad news about expat mag

  • Lascelles sells sea shells by the sea shore

    Jun 16, 2018 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #51

    Very sad news about expat, thoughts and prayers with his family, I can vaguely recall him conversing about cancer before, I was under the impression he had beaten the big C.

    Very tragic for his loved ones and friends.

  • Tsunki

    Jun 16, 2018 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #52

    Maybe Pitney was 24 hours from Tulsa because he was in SPAAAAAACE! You don’t know.

    Mirror – “Ronaldo escapes prison and gets Portugal out of jail!” Ha ha it did make me laugh. 🙂

  • Munster Mag

    Jun 16, 2018 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #53

    Just to reiterate I’d be v disappointed to see merino go. Really good player.. Vision, passing, engine and lots more to come. Did I read that Rafa has about 10 players per position earmarked? I guess he isn’t the only manager with lots of player knowledge (although Kinnear cud get on the blower to fergie to be fair :)) but this guy is good and was a brilliant buy for 6mill.


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