Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that they have signed young Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino on a pre-contract agreement.
The current CA Osasuna man has penned a five and a half year deal, that will see Merino at Signul Iduna Park until 2021 at the earliest. He will join up with his new teammates on the 1st July this year, 2016.
Rising through the echelons of Spanish football
The 19 year old, Merino, had enjoyed his break out season this campaign in his native Pamplona with CA Osasuna. The midfielder who can be deployed in a varying range of positions has become an integral part of the Los Rojillos side that currently sit seventh in the Segunda Division, and Merino has also contributed one goal in his twenty two games so far.
Last summer he was part of the successful Spanish Under 19 squad that won the UEFA European Under 19 Championship in Greece; the seventh of such titles for Spain.
With such versatility it would be apt to compare the young Mikel Merino with current Borussia Dortmund midfield maestro, Ilkay Gündogan. The Turk-cum-German has developed into one of Europe's best midfielders over recent years and like Merino can play throughout the midfield positions. However, Gündogan is widely expected to move onto pastures new in the summer and the bosman signing of the Spaniard could be seen as an early move for the current Dortmund mans successor.
Looking forward to playing in Dortmund
The young midfielder gave the Borussia Dortmund fans an early insight into his eagerness to pull on the black and yellow jersey. He told the official club website, "Borussia Dortmund is one of the top teams in Europe. I am honored that I can play for BVB soon!". He also had a message for the die Schwarzgelben faithful and was complimentary of the club, stating "They play special football in an impressive stadium, with some of the most loyal and creative fans."
Borussia Dortmund sporting director, Michael Zorc also had his say on the move and stressed the Iberian was one of "the best talents of Spanish football. He added, "We are very pleased to be able to secure his transfer for the next season."