Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Paper Talk: Man City to beat Liverpool to Spanish midfielder with £50m exit clause

Luis Suarez (Granada) and Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad)

Manchester City will beat Liverpool to the signing of classy midfielder Mikel Merino, Arsenal’s prospects of signing Eden Hazard have dipped, while Monday’s Paper Talk claims Romelu Lukaku is in talks over a move to a European giant.

MIKEL MERINO TOP OF CITY RADAR

Manchester City are leading the charge for Mikel Merino and are seemingly at the front of the queue for his signature.

The highly-rated midfielder has emerged as one of LaLiga’s best midfielders since signing for Real Sociedad. He has four goals and three assists this season, though it is not his attacking verve he is known for.

His classy displays in the middle of the park have caught a number of sides’ attention. And the former Newcastle midfielder, who joined Sociedad for just £10m in summer 2018, is now regarded as one of LaLiga’s best.

Still only 25, plenty believe the star’s best years are still ahead of him.

Capped 11 times by Spain, Merino is also being linked with a summer move to Liverpool. The Reds are in the hunt for new midfield additions as they ponder life after James Milner and, one day, Jordan Henderson.

However, Sociedad are in no mood to sell on the cheap and are seemingly standing by his £50m exit clause.

Now, according to Goal, that is a fee City are willing to pay.

They have reportedly been scouting Merino for some time and are now ready to bring him in.

Pep Guardiola seemingly sees Merino as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho in the Manchester City midfield.

The 36-year-old signed a one-year extension last summer but has played an increasingly reduced role this season. Indeed, the Brazilian has made just 11 starts in all competitions.

EDEN HAZARD HOPES FADE FOR ARSENAL

Arsenal’s chances of signing Eden Hazard this summer are seemingly on the wane.

The winger appears to be ready to leave Real Madrid this summer after failing to recapture his best form. Indeed, the £90m they paid for Chelsea back in 2019 has not yielded the returns Los Blancos will have expected.

With just a year left on his deal, a summer exit appears to be on the cards. And reports last week claimed the Gunners have held positive talks with his representatives.

However, with Real seemingly seeking a reduced fee for the Belgian’s services, a number of other clubs are now also in the hunt.

Indeed, just last week it was suggested that big-spending Newcastle were ready to offer him a route out of the Bernabeu.

Newcastle have opened talks with Eden Hazard over Premier League return

Eden Hazard could come back to the Premier League as Newcastle United open talks with Real Madrid winger

Now Spanish newspaper Cadena Ser claims a move to Borussia Dortmund looks to be on the cards.

They claim the Bundesliga side look likely to win the race to sign him after talks of their own.

And BVB seemingly have an ace card to play with Hazard keen on a reunion with his younger brother Thorgan.

The news will come as another blow for Arsenal, who have lost their last two games and seen their top-four hopes fade.

LUKAKU IN TALKS OVER PSG TRANSFER

Romelu Lukaku looks increasingly likely to leave Chelsea this summer following a miserable season.

The huge £97.5m fee the Blues paid has seriously backfired for all parties, with the Belgian scoring just 12 goals in all competitions.

Manager Thomas Tuchel has failed to get the best out of the striker, who looked one of the world’s best during his time at Inter Milan.

And Lukaku’s public admission that he misses life at the San Siro has done little to help his cause. Indeed, reports last week suggested a return to Inter is on the cards.

However, But! claims his agents are now in talks over a summer move to PSG.

They claim they want Lukaku to spearhead their attack next season with Lionel Messi looking increasingly likely to depart.

A triumverate of Kylian Mbappe – who himself looks set to sign a new deal – and Neymar will be the new combination at the Parc des Princes next term.

There is no mention of a possible fee, but Chelsea appear certain to suffer a substantial loss.

Talks are reportedly already underway with the Ligue 1 giants serious in their attempts to sign him.