According to fresh reports from Spain, Mikel Merino is keen to leave Newcastle United this summer to pursue his ambitions of playing in La Liga.

It’s claimed by Estadio Deportivo that the Newcastle midfielder has informed his peers of his desire to return to his homeland of Spain, with a number of top-flight clubs having expressed an interest in signing him.

Merino has been linked with moves to the likes of Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao, but Newcastle are understood to be keen on retaining his services ahead of next season.

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The former Borussia Dortmund man enjoyed a hugely impressive start to his tenure at Newcastle but inconsistency soon followed after a bright beginning.

Merino found himself on the bench for much of the second half of the campaign under Rafa Benitez, who tended to favour the pairing of Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey in the middle.

Benitez does, however, want to keep Merino, with the young Spaniard clearly boasting a vast amount of potential.