Reports say that Arteta has identified Mikel Merino as his Secret Cut-Price Midfielder?

Barcelona face competition from Arsenal in their pursuit of Real Sociedad star Mikel Merino. Monday’s edition of Sport backs up this claim and provides the latest on Arsenal’s efforts to sign the midfielder. Merino’s contract runs until 2025, but he isn’t keen on signing an extension. Consequently, Real Sociedad feel that all roads lead towards a transfer for around €25 million.

Merino hinted that he will make a decision about his future after the Euros are over: “The next step has to come from within, from me, from analysing myself, seeing what player I am now, where I am and where I want to go. And what is the way to do it. Now at a football level I still have one more year at Real and I am in the best possible place to live and grow,” he told Relevo.

“Rumors are something that I do not give importance to because I believe that a Euros is the most important thing you can face and requires 100% of your attention. So when the Euro is over and the days go by, I will meet with the club and my representative, to see what they have to say to me and what they don’t, and we’ll see.

“You never know where football can take you, and I am willing to continue my career wherever my heart and my head ask me to.”

Merino has attracted interest from both Barca and Arsenal amongst others. However, Mikel Arteta’s proactive approach could give the Gunners an advantage. Arteta is leading the interest and has already reportedly communicated the ‘big plans’ he has for Merino, which has ‘seduced’ the player.

Merino’s journey from an overlooked spell at Newcastle to becoming a sought-after talent in Spain underscores a remarkable turnaround. His consistent performances for Real Sociedad have not only made him a mainstay in the Spain national team under Luis de la Fuente but have also ignited interest from clubs across Europe. Arteta is reportedly keen to sign his compatriot for Arsenal ‘no matter what,’ ensuring the midfielder has the ‘absolute confidence’ of the manager.

Merino spent the 2017/18 season at Newcastle United before joining Real Sociedad, where he has blossomed into a highly-regarded player over the past six years. At 27, Merino has become a cornerstone in La Liga, capturing the attention of top clubs like Manchester United.

The midfielder’s career began at Osasuna, leading to a move to Borussia Dortmund in 2016. After a brief stint in Germany, Merino joined Newcastle on loan in 2017, with the deal becoming permanent for around £6 million. However, he quickly moved to Real Sociedad, where he has thrived since.

Real Sociedad’s valuation of €25 million is affordable for Arsenal, making the transfer feasible. Merino’s past experience in England and his development in Spain make him a prime target for Arteta as he seeks to bolster his midfield options.

Arsenal have good relations with Sociedad with Tierney spending last season with them, and it is also worth remembering that Martin Odegaard also spent a season playing alongside the midfielder, so should be able to give Arteta his opinion of his character.

I am sure Edu and Arteta will make the right decision whatever happens…


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  1. This is now a better midfielder than the Zubimendi most wanted here,tall, aggressive,he has a good passing range, good at long passing,play as both offensively and defensively box to box/DM,if arsenal gets him then is would be wonderful.

  2. Merino and Zubemendi are both in action from the start against Albania tonight.As an Arsenal fan what an opportunity to assess these midfielders!

  3. Merino seems to be a very consistently good player He played for Spain against Albania and was very impressive. He had a good spell with Real Sociedad. That said, Arteta’s affinity to Spain should make this deal go through and hopefully he is an Arsenal player come next season.

  4. Reminds me of Xhaka, with his semi-long lobbed pinpoint passes. It’s easy to ping a long one, it’s difficult to execute one just over another player when there are no short pass routes available. Something that made Xhaka so good. Merino is similar.

  5. Having watched the game I was more taken with Merino than Zubimendi.While the latter is neat and tidy in possession ,against a run of the mill Albania side he did not impose himself on proceedings and may not be physically strong enough as a DM in the EPL Merino, after a sluggish start was a major factor in the Spain midfield and linked well with the talented Olmo. Merino is very similar to Granite Xhaka with a bit more pace and he would add left sided balance to the Arsenal which has been lacking since the departure of GX.

  6. Would be happy if they can get him especially when he’s available for a cut price at around 25m. Looks like a complete midfielder blessed with good technique and physical attributes. Zubimendi would be a better buy because he’s 3 years younger and has a potential to become a superior player as a deep lying playmaker but would be happy with either one of them. Merino is more experienced and playing with more confidence with the national team compared to his compatriot.

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