Barcelona need to make a decision on their €50m pivot target amid Arsenal interest


Spain's midfielder #06 Mikel Merino celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final football match between Spain and Germany at the Stuttgart Arena in Stuttgart on July 5, 2024.
Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

In the upcoming summer transfer window, FC Barcelona have a clear top priority target, i.e., the Athletic Club winger Nico Williams. But the Catalans also need to strengthen their midfield, and getting a midfield pivot has been on the club’s agenda for quite some time now.

For this latter purpose, one of the candidates that has been linked with the Blaugrana club is the Real Sociedad midfielder, Mikel Merino. His contract with La Reale is expiring in 2025, and Barcelona had already tried to assess the possibility of his incorporation before UEFA EURO 2024 kicked off.

The latest update on this operation has been provided by SPORT, which reports that Real Sociedad have already given up on their hopes of retaining the midfielder, but Barcelona are yet to make a final decision on whether they should take the final step to complete an operation that can end up costing them more than €20 million.

The Catalan club’s sporting department has already given the green signal for Merino’s incorporation, and Barcelona are confident of getting some income through levers or player sales in the coming days.

The Bayern Munich midfielder, Joshua Kimmich, was one of the favourites of the Catalan club for the pivot position. However, his high costs make him an impossible candidate for them, while Mikel Merino, who is liked well by both Flick and Deco, also fits perfectly into the profile that Barcelona are looking for.

The Spanish midfielder himself is keen to move to the Blaugrana club but Real Sociedad’s plans of selling him to the highest bidder can force him to move to another side. The English club Arsenal can be such a side, as the Gunners can pay the highest fee for him, with Mikel Arteta personally pushing for his singing.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are also interested in him and have been negotiating for him for months. However, they are currently behind Arsenal and Barcelona in Merino’s pursuit.

If Barcelona make a push for his signing, Merino would be happy to join them. However, the Catalans would be looking to get his price reduced from Real Sociedad, and can offer them some of their players for this purpose. There have been reports of Mikayil Faye being used for this purpose.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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