Newcastle are said to have had a bid for Lille midfielder Maia rejected.
French publication Le 10 Sport have claimed that Newcastle United have had a bid rejected by Ligue 1 side Lille for Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia - and Toon fans reckon it means Mikel Merino is to be sold.
Maia, 21, midfielder was a mainstay of Lille's side last season, playing in 34 of their 38 top-tier outings and even finding the back of the net on one occasion during a cup game against Le Mans.
Though a price was not mentioned, the report states that Lille were unwilling to agree a fee for Maia at the offered price, but it does claim that a deal could be reached if Newcastle meet the French club's asking price.
The Toon already boast a number of central midfielders, with Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey forming a decent partnership towards the end of the season as Rafa Benitez guided his side to tenth place in the Premier League.
Newcastle fans reacted to the news that their club had had a bid rejected for two-time Brazil Under-23 international Maia, with some excited that the club could be set to bring in the highly-rated star.
But the majority reckon Maia will be a replacement for 6ft 2in Merino, who has been linked with a move back to Spain. Spanish newspaper AS claim Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao are keen on the former Borussia Dortmund star.
One fan described him as a "wonderkid", while another suggested he would be a "potential replacement for Merino".
Not being funny, but he’s quality on FM16 so I reckon we might have a genuine chance of winning the league next year.— J (@J_92__) June 6, 2018
If we sign another CM that be will leave but If he's from Brazil like kenedy he will be immense haha— John Patrickson (@john22061984) June 6, 2018
Just on a quick glance over his wikipedia, looks like a potential replacement for merino (same age, position, foot)— 25 ffs (@UndyHatt) June 6, 2018
That would mean one of Hayden or Merino definitely leaving, wouldn't it?— Liam Martin (@LiamMartin96) June 6, 2018
Great on football manager— Oli (@Oli_NUFC99) June 6, 2018
Wonderkid a few years back.— John McHale (@TheMachine1981) June 6, 2018
I think if it is true then merino will be on way out. But as for price they paid 12.6m for him 1 year ago and has 4 years left on his current contract so I imagine I'd they sold they would want a little profit . so I'd imagine they want something like 17-18m for him defensive CM— John Patrickson (@john22061984) June 6, 2018
He is class— James Douglas (@Jimdoug87) June 6, 2018