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Barcelona face hurdle as midfield target’s release clause rises to €65 million

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Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this week, it was reported that Barcelona had decided to pursue the services of Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino, who has been one of the best midfielders in La Liga over the last few seasons.

The 27-year-old has also made it to Spain’s squad for the 2024 European Championship alongside teammate Martin Zubimendi, who has also been a target for Barcelona for a couple of years at this point.

However, the move will not be easy at all, as Sociedad will try their best to retain Merino’s services as one of their most important players. The catch is, the player becomes a free agent next year.

Initial reports claimed that Barcelona believe they can get the move done within €30 million because of his contract situation, but it seems difficult that Sociedad will want to budge from his release clause – which has now increased.

A €65 million release clause

According to a report relayed by Mundo Deportivo, Merino’s release clause amount has increased this month, jumping from €60 million to €65 million due to a clause in his current contract.

Merino’s release clause value has shot up. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

While he is in the last 12 months of his current deal, his decision to renew does not boil down to a sporting or economic decision, but a ‘life decision’, as per Sociedad sporting director Roberto Olabe.

Merino has recently gotten married and turns 28 in a fortnight, and perhaps is looking for a huge move in his career to a new city.

No offers yet

Merino has a lot of suitors from across Europe interested in his contract, including from the Premier League, where Newcastle United are looking to seek his services again.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also in the race.

However, Real Sociedad have not received any contract offers for him. The 27-year-old has not negotiated with any other team other than La Real, either.

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