By 90Min
July 20, 2017

Athletic Bilbao could finalise a deal for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino this week.

The 21-year-old joined the Bundesliga club from Osasuna last summer, but failed to make a big impact in Germany, making eight league appearances, mainly appearing from the substitutes bench, as Dortmund finished third.

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - APRIL 22: Lars Stindl of Moenchengladbach (L) and Mikel Merino Zazon of Dortmund battle for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund at Borussia-Park on April 22, 2017 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Maja Hitij/GettyImages

AS via ​Sport 1 believe Athletic are stepping up their interest in Merino, reportedly offering a transfer bid in the region of €10m for the midfielder.

Merino only cost €3.85m last summer following his switch from Osasuna, despite having impressed in Spain's Segunda Division, scoring six goals in 35 league appearances during the 2015-16 season.

Current Athletic manager Jose Angel Ziganda is eager to conclude the deal as soon as possible so Merino can play in the club's Europa League qualifying matches against Romanian side Dinamo Bucuresti.


Merino is a current Spain Under-21 international, being included in the squad for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship alongside stars likes Hector Bellerin, Saul, Marco Asensio and Sandro Ramírez.

The youngster struggled to assert himself in Dortmund's midfield due to the presence of first-team players like Julian Weigl, Gonzalo Castro and Sebastian Rode and could seek move a move away in order to gain regular game time.

However, with previous manager Thomas Tuchel being replaced by Peter Bosz, there could be more regular football in the works for Merino, with Bosz fielding an Ajax team filled with youngsters last season as they reached the Europa League final.


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