Mikel Merino has been linked with several La Liga clubs for some time now.

The Newcastle United player found himself out of the team after injury last season and, if the Spanish claims are correct, that would have encouraged him to look elsewhere.

The clubs most linked with taking Merino from Newcastle have been Real Betis, Athletic Club Bilbao and Real Sociedad. All were said to be making offers to the player and the ones who got his word would then try and find a deal with Rafael Benitez’s club.

In Spain the slant has been that Merino will be returning to Spain, it’s just a question of which club he’ll be signing for.

Mundo Deportivo now sound confident on behalf of Real Sociedad. It’s stated the club have ‘advanced negotiations’ to sign the player and Athletic have pulled away.

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The Spanish newspaper states Euskal Telebista, a regional Basque station have reported: ‘The negotiations between the parties are very advanced after the approaches that have taken place in recent hours.’

A transfer fee is estimated at around €12m and Real Sociedad hope they can move forward in the next week.