Newcastle have activated a clause to sign Mikel Merino from Borussia Dortmund on a permanent basis.
Merino moved to St James’ Park on loan over the summer with an option to stay full-time if he impressed in the Premier League.
And Rafa Benitez has been so impressed with the way the Spanish midfielder has performed the club have coughed up the £6.5million needed to make the move permanent.
Merino has signed a five-year deal to become a Newcastle player full time.
He said: “I’m really happy to be here, and for this part of the contract to finally be official.
“I’m happy to be here for five more years and I hope to keep playing for this club and to give good things to all the people and the club.
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“I have been focused on football always, but it’s good to know it’s now official and people will know it.
“I’m focused on my displays and improving myself, and I’m really happy to have signed this contract.”
Benítez added: “I’m really pleased we have been able to bring Mikel to the club permanently. He has played very well since he joined us.
“He has settled in quickly, has a lot of quality on the ball and is keen to learn – that is a crucial part of his future development.
“He has made a great impression at the club, and he is a good professional. He has confidence, but he is still young and has things to improve.
“He has to keep working hard and playing well, and hopefully he can improve and enjoy playing here.”