Newcastle makes Mikel Merino loan from Dortmund permanent

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Newcastle United has made Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino’s loan move from Borussia Dortmund permanent for a reported fee of seven million euros ($8.3 million).

The English Premier League side says the 21-year-old Merino signed a five-year deal until 2021.

Since switching from Dortmund in the offseason, Merino has played in each of Newcastle’s seven league games, and scored twice in three appearances for Spain Under-21s.

Newcastle coach Rafa Benitez says, “He has settled in quickly, has a lot of quality on the ball, and is keen to learn.”

Merino struggled to break into Dortmund under Thomas Tuchel after switching from Osasuna last year.

Kicker magazine reports the seven-million euro fee is in addition to the initial three million euros that Newcastle agreed for his loan.

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