Mikel Merino needs more game time to stay at Borussia Dortmund - father

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino needs more playing time at the Bundesliga club, his father has said.

Merino, 20, has struggled to break into the first team since arriving from Osasuna last summer, starting two Bundesliga games at centre-back, while he was brought on as a last-minute substitute in another match and not named at all in Dortmund's Champions League squad.

The Spain under-21 international's limited playing time has led to speculation that he could either return to Osasuna or leave on loan for another Bundesliga club, though his father Miguel Merino says that his son would rather stay at Dortmund than leave.

"The decision on Mikel's future is in the club's and coach's [Thomas Tuchel] hands. But my son wants to play in Dortmund," he told kicker.

"I want him to stay at Dortmund but with more playing minutes. I understand that Dortmund are one of the top teams in Europe and they have a strong squad.

"But Mikel's performances for Spain's U21s and his games for Dortmund, in an unusual position, have in my opinion shown he's at a good level."