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Barcelona eye €50m-rated La Liga midfielder, see him as perfect fit for Flick’s style

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

In a fresh development, Barcelona have identified a new target to reinforce their midfield in the summer transfer window, with Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino now on the agenda.

This claim comes from SPORT’s Toni Juanmarti, who states that the 27-year-old Spaniard is a popular option within Barça.

Merino seen as the perfect fit

As per the report, those within Barcelona see Mikel Merino as the ‘perfect fit’ for the style of play that new manager Hansi Flick usually employs with his teams.

The 27-year-old is considered a total midfielder capable of performing practically all the functions – he has a touch, judgement in attack, arrives from the second line and puts in the hard work in defence.

In addition, the former Newcastle United and Borussia Dortmund midfielder even provides an added bonus in set-piece situations thanks to his ability to win duels.

Mikel Merino on Barcelona’s agenda. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Following the change in managers, there has been a shift in strategies for transfers as well. Xavi sought a more positional pivot like Guido Rodriguez to reinforce the No. 6 slot in his preferred 4-3-3 setup.

With Flick’s preference to use 4-2-3-1, the sports management is trying to find a player who would adapt better to the German’s style of play. And this, they believe at Barça, is Mikel Merino.

Move to be made if FFP permits

Merino, who finishes his contract with Real Sociedad in 2025, would be cheaper than Joshua Kimmich, another name that Barcelona have on their radars.

For now, it is no secret that the Catalan club cannot undertake any operation. However, Barça hopes to be able to return to the 1:1 rule in the coming weeks.

It will be then when, through generating wage space with departures, the club will contact Real Sociedad to communicate their interest in the 27-year-old.

Real Sociedad would have limited power in a hypothetical negotiation as Merino’s contract expires in a year, which leads Barça to be optimistic.

*Player valuation in title obtained from transfermarkt.com on date of publication

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