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Arsenal favourites to sign Merino ahead of Barcelona

Arsenal are leading the race to sign Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo (Gipuzkoa edition).

The Gunners are open to signing a new midfielder, and a recent report claimed that manager Mikel Arteta has already held secret talks with Merino over a transfer.

Sociedad are not optimistic about renewing Merino’s contract after the midfielder said he is an ‘adventurer’ and open to a new challenge.

If there is no agreement over an extension, the La Liga outfit will sell him. Arsenal are deemed as front-runners as Barcelona can’t afford to sign him.

The Blaugrana can only spend 25 percent of any funds received. They are waiting for La Liga authorities to end their Financial Fair Play spending restrictions.

Merino won’t be a good signing for Arsenal

The 28-year-old has made nearly 250 appearances during his six seasons at Sociedad. In the recent campaign, he registered eight goals and five assists from central midfield.

The Spaniard also impressed with high pressing and positioning. However, he had a passing accuracy of only 77 percent in La Liga last term.

Sociedad manager Imanol previously described him as ‘the best player in La Liga’, and Merino was also quick to acknowledge that he is ‘one of the best’ in the league.

Despite this, it is worth noting that Merino previously had a disappointing stint at Newcastle United, where he made 25 appearances in 2017/18.

The Magpies were happy to part ways with him at the time. Merino would not be a good signing for Arsenal who are expected to challenge for the league title.

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