Barcelona have targeted the 27-year-old La Liga midfielder as their top target


Barcelona are currently adjusting their plans to new manager Hansi Flick, and it seems they have settled on a new midfield target. If they have the budget to do the deal, then Barcelona will pursue Real Sociedad star Mikel Merino.

This is according to Sport, who say that Merino has been identified as an ideal option in the midfield to be part of the double pivot system that Flick has favored in the past. The 27-year-old is out of contract in 2025, and has been in talks over a new deal with La Real, but so far nothing has been agreed.

Real Sociedad sporting director Roberto Olabe said on Tuesday that Real had not received any offer for Merino, and that it is up to the player to make a decision about his future, noting that it is not about money, but about a based decision. on what the ex-Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle United midfielder wants from life.

In the coming weeks, Barcelona hope to have clarity on their finances, situation and spending power this summer, and if they have the funds to go after a midfielder, then Merino will be the first port of call. At that point, they will communicate their interest to La Real.

The Blaugrana see him as a two-way midfielder who would help them press and compete physically. Merino is also no slouch technically, and has shown the ability to score goals by attacking from deep as well. Without the ball, Merino is a batting presence in the middle of the field, and often wins the ball. He would also be cheaper than Joshua Kimmich, who has been mentioned as his main target to fill the pivot position.

One consequence of their interest in Merino is that Barcelona's interest in Real Betis' Guido Rodriguez, with whom they have agreed terms, has waned in recent weeks. They still consider Rodriguez, who would arrive on a free transfer, if their finances do not improve as hoped.

On paper Merino is an excellent signing for every team in La Liga except maybe Real Madrid. His quality is proven, and he is currently fighting for a starting place in Spain at the Euros. If Merino were to arrive, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Barcelona look to move for the midfielder. Gavi, Ilkay Gundogan, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong will all expect starting minutes next season, and Fermin Lopez will also be in contention.

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