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Newcastle United’s Mikel Merino involved in transfer tussle between La Liga duo

Newcastle United’s Mikel Merino is the centre of interest from La Liga duo Real Betis and Athletic Club.

The Spanish Under-21 international emerged as a target for Athletic, given his Basque roots but a failed move in the winter transfer market saw him remain in England.

German side Cologne have previously shown interest, whilst Valencia have been linked but it is now Real Betis, who have joined the San Mames outfit in interest.

Betis boss Quique Setien has developed a huge list of players that he would like to bring in this summer as the Andalusian club embark on a return to the Europa League.

Setien is a keen admirer of the Pamplona-born player and is discussing with officials to push for a move.

With Setien’s interest developing, Athletic will also now be weighing up making a solid offer and given their desire to only sign Basque natives – missing out on Merino could be a disappointment.

Merino, who has had spells with Osasuna and Borussia Dortmund before he joined Newcastle United, made 24 Premier League appearances this term, netting once in the process.

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It is thought that the English club are not keen to let Merino leave, unless interested parties pay around a asking price of €15m.

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