Mikel Merino has admitted it’s “hard living without the things you are used to” but “thinks” he is getting used to living in Newcastle.
TEAMtalk told you yesterday that Athletic Bilbao were lining up a summer deal for the Newcastle midfielder after he informed the Magpies he wants to join the Basque giants.
Pamplona-born Merino has told Rafa Benitez he is unsettled in the North-East and would prefer to move back to his native Basque country. And Bilbao have expressed their desire to sign him.
Speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle though Merino, 21, attempted to cool the transfer talk.
“It would be great if that Spanish cap comes when I am a Newcastle United player. I know I am at a great club and Newcastle is a great place too,” said Merino.
“This is a great scenario to show everybody what I can do. If I am able to play for Newcastle and Spain at a senior level that will be great.
“Newcastle people are awesome and really kind to me. I am enjoying the city.
“It’s different for me as I am used to seeing more sun, eating different food, and it is hard to live without the things you are used to.
“But I think I am used to living in Newcastle and enjoy it.
“The weather may be cold but the Geordie people are very warm. They make it a warm city.
“That is the great thing about Newcastle, the people are so kind you don’t even know it has dipped beneath three degrees!”
The local paper also claim Newcastle have no interest in selling Merino to Athletic Bilbao for £13million.
Merino, who only joined Newcastle on a permanent deal in October for £6.3million after signing an initial season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund, has found life tough going in the North East.