SC Braga have confirmed on their official website that they have signed Atlético midfielder Fran Mérida on loan for one year.
“Fran Mérida will play at SC Braga this season,” reads the Portuguese side’s announcement before it boldly claims Fran “is one of the most promising players in Spanish football.”
The statement also assures Braga fans that “many believe [Mérida] will be a starter for ‘la Roja’ in the future.”
That’s the same type of optimism that Atleti fans displayed when the gifted young playmaker arrived from Arsenal last summer, having grown fed up of warming the bench in London.
Unfortunately, aside from lifting the UEFA Super Cup in his official debut against Inter Milan in Monaco a year ago, the 21-year-old’s first campaign with los Rojiblancos wasn’t any less frustrating than his time in England.
Mérida didn’t see much action in our 2010/11 season, as he was not favoured by former coach Quique Sanchez Flores.
The La Masia product apparently wasn’t able to impress new manager Gregorio Manzano this pre-season either, though, much like Elias’ situation, an overbooked midfield complicated his short term situation with los Colchoneros.
According to AS, Mérida’s transfer is part of a package deal to be announced soon for Braga left-winger Pizzi, the player billed by the Spanish media as Diego Forlán’s replacement.
At Saturday’s pre-game press conference, Manzano confirmed the Uruguayan striker’s departure to Italy is imminent.
“[Forlán] is negotiating with Inter and it is expected the deal will be finalised within hours,” Manzano said.