La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are both rumoured to be preparing bids for Newcastle United's Mikel Merino.
Merino was initially signed by Rafa Benitez on a season long loan from Borussia Dortmund but, owing to his impressive appearances, Benitez decided to make the move a permanent one. Benitez, however, is not the only manager to have taken note of the 21-year-old's imposing performances so far this season.
El Gol Digital have reported that La Liga champions Real Madrid and Catalan rivals Barcelona are both interested in acquiring Merino's services. This Spanish interest comes despite the fact that the midfielder recently signed a five-year contract with the Tyneside club.
The Magpies are rumoured to be unwilling to sell the Spain Under-21 international for less than £17.6m, but they have already identified Miguel Almiron as a possible replacement, according to Calciomercato.
The 23-year-old Paraguayan currently plays his football in the United States for Atlanta United and has found the net nine times in his thirty appearances for the club. Almiron's strong performances have led to high praise from his teammates who have called him the 'heartbeat' of the team.