Dries Mertens could have been a Premier League player this summer, had Napoli not stepped in and extended his contract till 2020. The Belgian has been linked with a move to big guns Manchester United and Liverpool, and representatives of both clubs have reportedly enquired about the possibility of signing him.
According to calciomercato.com, both rivals have been left stunned by the release clause being quoted by the Italian club – a fee around €30m only – which is shockingly low for a striker of his caliber in today’s inflated market.
Mertens is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most sought-after strikers, despite being 30 years of age. Having played most of his career on the flanks, the Belgian was made to operate as a sole striker last season, after first choice frontman Arkadiusz Milik picked up a long-term injury.
He did a magnificent job covering for the injured Pole, scoring a superb total of 28 goals in 35 appearances in the Serie A. His form brought about a number of calls from several clubs inquiring about the striker’s availability, and they were shocked to find out how low his asking price is.
Manchester United apparently went for Mertens, but could not agree a deal, and with Romelu Lukaku now amongst their ranks and Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning, a move to Old Trafford looks unlikely. Anfield could be a possible destination, though, as Liverpool lack an out-and-out striker who could offer them a consistent return up…