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REPORT: United ‘Closely Following’ La Liga Star With £51M Release Clause

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BACK David Tully Mar 12th 2024 Manchester United are one of 4 clubs “closely following” Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino, according to COPE. The Spanish radio station says that the former Newcastle player could be sold at the end of the season as he is closing in on the final year of his contract. Merino does have a €60m (£51m) release clause but it is believed that Sociedad would be open to offloading him for a fee below that amount. COPE report that Manchester City, Atletico Madrid and Juventus are also keeping tabs on the 27-year-old’s situation along with United. A replacement for Casemiro? There have been a number of reports suggesting Casemiro could be sold to a club in Saudi Arabia this summer, which means that the Red Devils would need to find another holding midfielder. Merino is renowned for regaining the ball but he offers a lot more than that. He is very capable in possession too, having scored 6 goals and provided 5 assists for Sociedad this season. United are also watching three of Merino’s teammates COPE claim that Erik ten Hag’s side are among “several European giants” watching Takefusa Kubo, Martin Zubimendi and Robin Le Normand (in addition to Merino). Zubimendi is a more attack-minded midfielder than Merino, but he is known to be a top target for Arsenal, so United’s chances of securing his signature are not that high. Kubo is a very exciting winger, who has been regularly linked with clubs in England, but his former team Real Madrid have a buyback option. Le Normand is a centre-half and, while the Red Devils are keen to strengthen their options in the middle of defence, they are unlikely to prioritise a move for the Spanish international. The likes of Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, Benfica’s Antonio Silva and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi are regarded as more attractive targets. David Tully David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World’s Football News Network.

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