Newcastle hope to confirm the signing of Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino from Borussia Dortmund very soon, with the player arriving on Tyneside to finalise his move.
Rafa Benitez believes that the holding midfielder, 21, could dovetail well with Jonjo Shelvey in the centre of the park, seeing him as a ‘quality’ alternative to his current options.
Following Newcastle’s comfortable 4-0 victory over Bradford, Benitez said to Sky Sports: “It’s close, little things to do, but hopefully we can do it.
“It would be another player of quality and that is something we maybe need a little bit more of in the squad.”
However, it seems that the youngster’s arrival will spell the end for Henri Saivet, who has reportedly been told that he will be sold to make room for the new acquisition.
The Senegalese midfielder earns in the region of £35,000 per week, and will be offloaded as the Magpies seek to trim their wage bill. He has been told to train with the under-23s until he finds a new club.
His replacement, Merino, joined Borussia Dortmund from Osasuna in £3.1m deal just last summer, but was afforded few opportunities in Germany.
The Spaniard, who has represented his country at under-19 and under-21 level, will hope to nail down a first-team place in Tyneside, after making just nine appearances in all competitions last season.
According to Sky Sports, subject to a medical, the midfielder will join on loan with a option to buy next summer, and would become Benitez’s fifth signing of the window so far, joining Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo.