Newcastle United grab season-long loan for Merino

Newcastle United have made their fifth signing of the summer window, with Mikel Merino joining from Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan deal.

Rafael Benitez has endured a frustrating time in the market ahead of the new campaign, as he prepares his side for their return to the Premier League. But the arrival of Merino, who played nine times for Dortmund last season, at least means he has five new names to consider in the coming months.

The 21-year-old, who made two appearances as Spain reached the final of the UEFA Under-21 European Championships this summer, has joined the Magpies on a season-long loan deal, and he has revealed he snubbed interest from other clubs to clinch the temporary switch to St James’ Park.

“It feels good and I’m very happy to be here,” he told the club website. “I’m looking forward to touching the ball, meeting my new team-mates and starting to play football. I know it’s a great club and a really nice city. I had different options but I think this is the right place for me to play.”

The midfielder has been joined in Benitez’s squad by fellow new additions Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune and Javier Manquillo, whilst Christian Atsu has joined on a permanent basis from Chelsea. More signings are expected before the campaign begins against Tottenham Hotspur on 13 August.

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