Real Sociedad are close to announce the €10m (£8.5m) signing of Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino, say reports in Spain.
The 21-year-old joined the Magpies from Borussia Dortmund last summer but started only 14 matches in England’s top flight and his exit would be sanctioned.
Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Betis were both reportedly heavily interested in a deal for the central midfielder, but he has opted instead to move to the Anoeta, according to Marca.
Merino left Osasuna in 2016 but made only two starts in the Bundesliga for Dortmund and now is said to want to return to La Liga.
Bahía Internacional represent the Pamplona native and are said to have met with representatives of a number of Spanish clubs over the past month to attempt to speed up a deal.
Real Sociedad’s ranks need replenished after the retirement of captain Xabi Prieto and the exit of winger Sergio Canales, who is expected to join Betis.
Image via @NUFC