Real Betis are set to join Athletic Bilbao in the race to secure Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino’s signature this summer.
The Spain Under-21 international was a target for the Basques in the winter transfer market – alongside Betis, Valencia and Cologne - only for Magpies’ boss Rafa Benitez to veto any deal.
But Betis coach Quique Setien has let it be known he is a keen admirer of the Pamplona-born player and, according to reports in Spain, is anxious to take him to the Benito Villamarin.
The former Osasuna and Borussia Dortmund player joined Newcastle from the Bundesliga giants in July 2017, before the agreement was made official three months later for a €7m fee, and he has made 24 league appearances this term with one goal.
However, the Premier League outfit are not prepared to let Merino go without at least doubling the amount paid for him, with bidding set to start around €15m.