EXCLUSIVE Romano: Liverpool target Mertens delaying Napoli renewal

11 December at 21:38

"No dice, he's unsellable".

When Inter kept knocking last summer, Napoli kept repeating the same answer. Both Dries Mertens and Manolo Gabbiadini weren't going anywhere, despite interest from many clubs, including Liverpool for the former PSV star.

New arrival Maurizio Sarri wanted a complete squad with alternative everywhere, even if they were prestigious.

This is frustrating Belgian international Dries Mertens, who doesn't want to be a third wheel anymore. Though happy with how Coach Sarri is doing, he wants a bigger role.

And would you know it, the Belgian is up for renewal: though his entourage is often in contact with Napoli Sporting Director Cristiano Giuntoli, Mertens is waiting. A number of English Premier League clubs are interested in him, as are Inter.

Despite the Belgian not leaving in January, as long as he keeps putting back his renewal... the more a club like the Nerazzurri will be tempted to pounce.

The 28-year-old is one of Roberto Mancini's favourite false nines, and is an ace he'd like to have up his sleeve to reinforce his attack. He's repeated his name on a number of occasions.

Problem is, Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis just won't hear of selling him, and especially not of giving him away at a discount. Hypothetically, the Belgian star would cost around €18 million.

Edo Dalmonte, @edodalmonte
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