Barcelona are reportedly weighing up the prospect of lodging a January bid to sign Mikel Merino, valued at €60 million by La Liga giants Real Sociedad.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Fichajes, Mikel Merino is quickly becoming a key target for Barcelona. The Catalan giants are considering signing the Spanish international in the January transfer window, with Real Sociedad demanding €60 million in exchange for his services.

Mikel Merino has completely transformed his career since joining Real Sociedad from Newcastle United in July 2018. In the last three years, the 25-year-old has established himself as one of the best midfielders in La Liga while also becoming a regular for the Spanish national side.

Merino has made 131 appearances for Real Sociedad to date, chipping in with 15 goals and 14 assists in the process. The player’s progress has not gone unnoticed, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona, setting their sights on him.

The interest from Barcelona is understandable, considering Sergio Busquets is in the twilight of his career. Recent reports have also claimed that the Blaugrana could offload Busquets as part of an impending overhaul wherein Xavi Hernandez will look to mould the squad to his liking.

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In addition, uncertainties surround the future of Frenkie de Jong, as Barcelona could sell him to balance their books and partly fund transfers in the summer transfer window. So, Merino is a viable target for Barcelona, with the 25-year-old adding some much-needed experience to the first-team squad.

According to Fichajes, the Catalan giants are weighing up the prospect of securing the services of the Spanish international in the January transfer window instead of waiting till the summer. However, Barcelona’s chances appear bleak, as Real Sociedad will be demanding €60 million to part with Merino.

With a major chunk of their January budget already diverted towards signing Ferran Torres, it seems highly unlikely that Barcelona will be able to sign Merino in a €60 million deal this winter. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen if Barcelona can somehow get a deal over the line in January by negotiating acceptable terms with their La Liga rivals.

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