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Toony army desperate to keep hold of midfielder amidst links to Spain

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A number of La Liga sides are keeping tabs on Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino amidst the Magpie’s poor form.

Reports from Spain suggest that club’s, including Athletic Bilbao, will move for Merino should Newcastle go down.

Bilbao are confident they can land the midfielder on a bargain if he no longer is able to play Premier League football next season.

Newcastle paid an initial £2.7m loan fee back in July and then when he played a required number of games for Newcastle, a contract clause was triggered and NUFC paid a further £6.5m to make the deal permanent.

Newcastle currently sit 18th in the Premier League having lost eight of their last nine top flight games, slipping from as high as fourth and into the relegation zones.

The Toon army are desperate not to see the 23-year-old – who has been their star player so far in what has been a difficult campaign – leave the club so soon after joining …

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