Liverpool name-checked as interested in Spanish star with €60m release clause

Liverpool are supposedly one of the clubs who have been keeping tabs on Real Sociedad duo Martin Zubimendi and Mikel Merino.

The midfielders have excelled for the Basque side in recent years, helping to propel them into this season's Champions League last 16.

27-year-old Merino is perhaps better well-known among Premier League fans, having spent time at Newcastle in 2017/18. Zubimendi, meanwhile, has spent his entire career at La Real, making 132 La Liga appearances to date, while he has four caps for Spain.

The talented 24-year-old has been the subject of regular transfer speculation in recent months and has also been touted as a possible target for Arsenal.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Liverpool – along with Aston Villa and Barcelona – have held an interest in both midfielders, who are seen as 'jewels' of this impressive Real Sociedad side.

The report only makes passing mention of the Reds' interest with the piece instead focussed on how both Merino and Zubimendi struggled in the 2-1 derby defeat to Athletic Club last week.

Zubimendi, who is under contract in San Sebastian until 2027, is widely reported to have a release clause of €60m (£51.5m), while Merino, whose deal ends in 2025, has a similarly priced buyout.

How serious or current Liverpool's interest in either player is remains unclear.

After the Reds underwent a midfield overhaul last summer, with four new engine-room arrivals, expensive deals in the near future appear unlikely. However, there could be room for another lying addition.

Anfield Watch understands that Liverpool have been looking at Genoa defensive midfielder Morten Frendrup, who is likely to come with a cheaper price tag than either of the Spanish stars.

However, the recruitment focus of 2024 is set to be on the defence.

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