Manchester United are one of the many clubs reportedly interested in signing Napoli striker Dries Mertens. The Belgian international’s contract with the Italian club expires in the summer, and it seems like he may be on the move.
As per Daily Mail, Dries Mertens will not sign a new contract with Napoli and will bring an end to his 7-year spell with the club. Chelsea were closely linked with a move for Mertens in the winter, but a deal could not be agreed upon. The Blues, along with Arsenal, will provide Manchester United competition in the pursuit of the highly sought after player. Inter Milan are also keen on having negotiations with the 32-year-old.
In a season full of controversies at Napoli, Mertens has scored 10 times and provided 5 assists in 24 appearances in all competitions. The experienced Belgian star has registered a whopping 119 goals and 72 assists in 304 games for Napoli.
Dries Mertens: The player Ole needs?
Manchester United have suffered from a lack of options in the attacking department following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez last summer. The Red Devils have struggled to put away teams in crucial junctures of games, while they have also lacked a proven goalscorer to lead the line. Anthony Martial’s switch to the striker’s role hasn’t quite worked out for United and him, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s moved out wide and a striker is brought in, even if it is not Dries Mertens.
United’s interest in Mertens makes sense though. The Belgian has been prolific for Napoli over the last few seasons and seamlessly adapted to the striker’s role at the club. He is a player with a lot of experience and can play in multiple positions – up front, out wide, or as a second striker. Mertens’ pace, creativity, work-rate, as well as his ability to score goals makes him a good option for United in the summer who will need to work on their depth as well as scout for bonafide starting XI options.
That he will be available on a free transfer makes this deal even sweeter for the Red Devils, who could use the money to develop and strengthen a squad lacking in a number of other areas as well. Dries Mertens turns 33 this May, which means that he will be a short-term fix, say 2-3 seasons, by which time Manchester United could have groomed a younger striker, or even someone like Mason Greenwood, from the academy.