The Mikel Merino saga is still in full swing, but should be coming to an end soon. The midfielder will be returning from international duty with Spain’s U21 at the end of the month and will sit down with new BVB manager Peter Bosz to discuss his future. Merino wants to play regular minutes and has been very vocal about the fact that he was not happy with his role last year. If he isn’t guaranteed minutes he will leave Germany and he already has his next destination picked out.
According to a report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, Mikel Merino wants to join Athletic Club if he leaves BVB and he isn’t interested in listening to offers from any other clubs that may want to sign him.
Athletic Club has been chasing Merino for over a year now after missing out on the midfielder last summer. Osasuna chose to sell him to BVB instead where he barely featured in his first year. The Lions have promised Merino regular minutes and the chance to battle for a starting role in the future. Those close to the situation say that Merino really likes Athletic’s project and the fact that he can stay close to home and have a role in a competitive squad.
Valencia, Real Sociedad, and Alaves are all also said to be interested in Merino and would love to add him to their midfield units. Recent rumors suggest that Valencia and Real Sociedad have withdrawn their interest in the 21-year-old due to the fact that they have been told that he only wants to join Athletic. Meanwhile, Alaves is knew to the situation and want to sign Merino on loan, which could be tempting to BVB. The Germans do not want to lose the starlet and would rather sell him with a buy-back option, but that is something that Athletic would refuse. The Basque giants want Mikel Merino to be a part of the present and future of the club and want to purchase the midfielder outright. In the end, the decision will likely be up to Merino after he meets with Peter Bosz. If he isn’t guaranteed regular minutes in Germany, he is expected to make the switch to the San Mames.