Mikel Merino played just one season at Newcastle. While he started well, the form of Mohammed Diame limited the midfielder to only three starts in the second half of that campaign.
Real Sociedad activated the Spaniard’s release clause the following summer, and Newcastle were powerless to prevent his departure.
The move proved to be a good one for Merino as he is a vital member of Real Sociedad’s squad. This season the Basque club is up in fourth place in La Liga.
One of the big reasons for Real Sociedad’s success is their Brazilian striker Willian Jose. The 27-year-old has been scoring the goals of late for his club with four so far this season. He has 49 in total in his three years at the club.
Speaking in the Spanish outlet Marca, Jose has claimed that he turned down a move to Newcastle this summer. This is what the 6’2″ striker had to say on the subject:
“The Premier is the best championship in the world, but La Liga is not far behind. For me, the best team is Real Madrid and then Barcelona.
“I could be in the Premier League, but I am in the right place.
“I want to play one day in the Premier League, but now I am happy here. I had an option to go to Newcastle last year, I’m happy at Real Sociedad, and I ended up staying.”
Newcastle were linked with a move for Jose a few seasons ago but nothing ever materialized. With the player turning 28 next month, he would have been on the fringes of Newcastle’s transfer policy.
It would be interesting to find out what size the bid was for the Brazilian as it would likely have taken more than the Joelinton fee to have brought him in.
Newcastle are unlikely to make another move for the player if his claims are valid. Jose would probably not change his mind on Newcastle now with Real Sociedad flying high in La Liga.