Every day that passes brings Mikel Merino one step closer to joining Athletic Club. The midfielder does not want a repeat of last season where he barely featured for Borussia Dortmund and is favoring a move to the San Mames. In fact, earlier this week it was reported that the 21-year-old requested to be sold to Athletic while also refusing the option to be loaned or sold elsewhere. He wants to play regular football and knows that he will get that chance if he joins Cuco Ziganda’s squad in Bilbao.
On Tuesday the transfer saga was strengthened when Matthias Dersch of Kicker reported that Merino will not be joining his teammates for training in Switzerland due to ongoing negotiations with Athletic. The midfielder has just finished vacation following his time with Spain’s U21 team this summer and was supposed to meet BVB at Bad Ragaz in Switzerland, but that is not happening because of the likely transfer.
According to sources close to the situation Merino already agreed to terms with Athletic roughly two months ago and has been waiting for the deal to go through. He has been told by Cuco Ziganda that he will have the chance to compete for a starting role in the team and is excited about continuing his career at the San Mames. It is believed that he will sign a five-year contract, should the transfer take place, that will contain a €50 million release clause
New Borussia Dortmund manager, Peter Bosz, reportedly told Merino that he would not play a significant role in the team this year which prompted the midfielder to officially ask to be sold to Athletic. There have also been offers from Valencia, Real Sociedad, Alaves, and FC Koln but Merino has his heart set on joining Athletic this summer. The Basque giants want to finalize the deal this week so that Merino can be incorporated into the team as quickly as possible. After missing out on the 21-year-old last summer, Athletic Club and Mikel Merino seem like the perfect marriage now.