Newcastle United are willing to part ways with hit signing Mikel Merino this summer if they can make a substantial profit on the midfielder, according to reports.
The 21-year-old joined the Magpies on loan from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund ahead of the 2017/18 campaign; however, following a string of fine performances, was made a permanent St James' Park fixture in October in a deal worth around £7m.
But a long-term back injury wreaked havoc over the Spaniard's second half of the campaign - making just two starts in 2018 after losing his place in the side to Mohamed Diame.
AS recently claimed that La Liga sides Athletic Club and Real Betis are both interested in bringing Merino back to his native Spain this summer, with the former attempting to bounce back from a bitterly disappointing campaign and the latter preparing for life in next year's Europa League.
It is thought that Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is willing to allow the Pamplona-born midfielder leave during this transfer window; however, according to The Chronicle, will only do so if the Magpies see an increase on their initial investment.
The 58-year-old has already secured his first signing of the summer, bringing in impressive loanee from the recently concluded term Martin Dubravka on a permanent basis. However, he is keen to add further new faces to his squad over the coming months.
But with owner Mike Ashley seemingly continuing to keep the purse strings drawn despite claiming there will be money available this summer, the St James' Park manager may have to offload in order to finance his transfer targets.