TALKS held: Mikel Arteta convinces Spain star to seal Arsenal transfer over Barcelona

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reportedly held talks with Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino over joining him at the Emirates Stadium in this summer’s transfer window.

Merino is currently on duty with the Spanish national team at Euro 2024, but it seems he’s expected to attract plenty of interest from top clubs this summer, with Arsenal and Barcelona emerging as his main admirers.

According to Sport, Arteta has contacted Merino directly to discuss a possible move to Arsenal, and the report describes the Gunners manager as having ‘seduced’ the player into choosing the Emirates over the Nou Camp.

One imagines Merino will not finalise his future until after Euro 2024, but it seems clear that the 28-year-old is one to watch this summer after some superb recent form for club and country.

Merino transfer: Could Arsenal target be heading back to the Premier League?

Mikel Merino to Arsenal?

Arsenal have long been linked with Merino’s club and international teammate Martin Zubimendi, but it seems he’s not keen on a move so perhaps this is now Arteta’s alternative.

If a deal works out, it will be interesting to see how Merino gets on back in the Premier League after an unconvincing spell in England with Newcastle United earlier in his career.

Merino was only a youngster at the time, but it seems the move came too soon for him, and he’s benefited a lot from his move back to La Liga with Sociedad.

Now a full Spain international, Merino looks like he has the quality and experience to come in and provide AFC with more defensive midfield options, with Arteta surely in need of someone a bit younger than Thomas Partey and Jorginho to sit in front of his defence.

Merino has also been linked with Manchester United in recent times but those links seem to have gone quiet.

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