Why Deco does not consider Mikel Merino a ‘priority’ for Barcelona

A fresh insight into the interest of Barcelona in the services of Real Sociedad star Mikel Merino has this weekend been forthcoming online.

The info comes courtesy of Mundo Deportivo, and confirms that Merino, in fact, is not considered a priority signing by the Barca brass.

The name of midfielder Merino, of course, has taken its place front and centre in the headlines in Catalunya’s capital over the course of the last 72 hours.

This comes after widespread confirmation was forthcoming that the former Newcastle United man has emerged as a summer target on the part of the aforementioned Barcelona.

Ahead of the expiration of his Real Sociedad contract in 12 months’ time, a number of outlets have gone as far as to point towards Merino as the new first-choice midfield addition of Deco and his transfer team.

If MD’s latest update is anything to go by, however, then this, in fact, is not the case:

‘The Real Sociedad midfielder is on Deco’s list, but he is not a priority signing and there is no open negotiation so far,’ it is confirmed.

So, exactly why is Merino behind the likes of Joshua Kimmich on the summer shortlist at the Camp Nou?

Chiefly, owing to his position on the pitch.

Barcelona are known to be on the lookout for a new deep-lying ‘pivot’, having failed to sufficiently fill the role since the departure of Sergio Busquets last summer.

And Deco does not consider Merino to be a natural fit, with the 27-year-old more of an ‘interior’.

Should Barca secure their desired pivot, a more active pursuit of Merino could follow, but, for the time being, developments in this particular saga look altogether unlikely.

Conor Laird | GSFN

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