Dortmund allow Merino to discuss transfer as Newcastle move nears

Newcastle United appears set to add Mikel Merino

The 21-year-old only joined the German outfit last year, arriving from Osasuna for a €3.85m fee.

Benitez wants a new face to slip into the midfield engine room to play alongside Jonjo Shelvey in the Premier League this season.

"I am really pleased that you (media) didn't know about Mikel Merino because it means that we are doing our job properly". "I had different options but I think this is the right place for me to play".

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez added: "Mikel is a midfielder with talent, an U21 global for Spain".

Merino was widely expected to join Athletic Bilbao this summer, but the Basque side which has a rather limited recruitment base as a club that only signs players from Basque regions would have to look elsewhere.

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"Hopefully, it will get done and we will have a player with quality, who can help us in the middle of the park", said Benitez.

The indications are that this would be more a formality, a bit like Florian Thauvin who only had to play three times for Marseille last season for that to become a binding permanent deal.

Below you can find a compilation of what Newcastle can expect from their new man.

"I spoke to him on Wednesday night and I told him to be proud of the step that he made since coming to West Ham past year to being a player that a lot of clubs from the Championship are asking for. He's very young, very promising, a great lad and a great trainer, so he can improve a lot".

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