Victor Orta gets ambitious as Leeds join Newcastle in monitoring Dries Mertens amid Napoli contract wrangle

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Napoli star Dries Mertens Credit: PA Images
Napoli star Dries Mertens Credit: PA Images

Leeds and Newcastle are both keeping tabs on the situation of Dries Mertens at Napoli, according to a report, with the attacker facing an uncertain future.

Mertens has been at Napoli since July 2013. He has enjoyed a brilliant spell at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, bagging 148 goals in just under 400 appearances.

The Belgian, who can operate as a centre-forward or on the left wing, has helped Napoli to win several trophies. They include two Coppa Italias and one Supercoppa Italiana.

However, his time in Naples could come to an end this summer. Mertens is now a free agent following the expiry of his contract with the Italian outfit.

On Saturday, Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli revealed a new contract had been sent to the 35-year-old. He said (via Fabrizio Romano): “We’ve offered Dries Mertens a new deal for €2.5million (£2.1m) salary net, it was an important proposal – but it has been turned down.”

Mertens is open to staying at the club, but only if a new contract can be agreed soon.

According to Sports Mole, who cite Italian outlet Il Mattino, Premier League clubs Leeds and Newcastle are ‘closely monitoring’ the situation.

It would be an ambitious move for Victor Orta or Dan Ashworth to pull off in their respective roles at Leeds and Newcastle.

Leeds, Newcastle watching Dries Mertens situation

The Whites and Magpies are not alone in keeping tabs on Mertens’ situation. The report states Marseille like him too and have taken action by registering their interest with the forward’s camp.

Capturing Mertens would be a real statement of intent from either English side. He is a Champions League-quality attacker who has won over 100 caps for Belgium.

Jesse Marsch admits Leeds are in the market for a striker this summer and Mertens would be a great solution. Plus, he would help to soften the blow if Raphinha leaves for Barcelona.

Newcastle, meanwhile want a new winger and striker ahead of next season. After losing out on 20-year-old Frenchman Hugo Ekitike, they might go the other way by landing Mertens, who is vastly experienced.

Of course, any move would be costly and would only last for a year or two, given Mertens’ age. But it would be intriguing to see him play in the Prem before he hangs up his boots.

Meanwhile, two clubs are rivalling Leeds in the race to sign Arnaud Kalimuendo from Paris Saint-Germain.

The article Victor Orta gets ambitious as Leeds join Newcastle in monitoring Dries Mertens amid Napoli contract wrangle appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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