Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino has opened up about his future, revealing how much he is loving life at the club and his dreams of playing for the Spanish national side.
The 21-year-old moved to St James' Park on a permanent deal from Borussia Dortmund after initially being on-loan, and has impressed during his time in England.
He is a regular in Spain's Under-21 side and dreams of emulating the likes of Xabi Alonso and Andres Iniesta in their success for the first team. Merino believes he can achieve this while he is at the Premier League club.
When speaking to The Chronicle, he said: ''The dream is to play in a World Cup or the Euros with Spain. That’s the dream for anybody in the Under-21s or Under-18s or the categories below. It’s the dream and the hope for me too.
''I know it’s going to be really difficult because only the best of the best get there in the Spanish national team because it’s one of the best teams in the world. I hope that one day that if things go well and I am at the right level I will be there.
''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.
''This is a great scenario to show everybody what I can do. If I am able to play for Newcastle and Spain at senior level that will be great.''
These comments will provide some much needed comfort for Newcastle fans with rumours circulating that Athletic Bilbao are interested in bringing Merino to Spain.