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Manchester United keen on Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino, could get him for less than his €60m release clause

Manchester United have been closely following the performances of Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino ahead of a potential summer swoop, according to Spanish outlet COPE Sports.

Manchester City, Juventus and Atletico Madrid have also been scouting the 27-year-old. He has a €60 million release clause but could move for less with just over a year left on his contract.

Man United are expected to strengthen their midfield this summer, with Morocco international Sofyan Amrabat set to return to Fiorentina at the end of his season-long loan. Casemiro’s future is also in doubt.

Merino has been identified by the Red Devils as a transfer target, and it is not hard to see why the Spain international has impressed them and other top clubs.

Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil called him ‘the best player in La Liga’ in 2021, and there is no denying that Merino has been one of the top players in Spain in recent years.

The former Newcastle United star was also compared to Xabi Alonso by Rafa Benitez in 2017 due to their similar style of play, and his skill set continues to set him apart from the crowd.

The excellent tackler has also impressed going forward this season, with six goals and four assists to his name across all competitions.

A chance to return to the Premier League could be tempting for Merino, and it will be interesting to see whether Man United will firm up their interest with a bid when the summer transfer window opens.

He is entering the peak of his professional career, and the combination of the Spaniard and Kobbie Mainoo in midfield could make the Red Devils formidable in the middle of the park.

On that basis, this is a deal Man United should be eager to complete.