Dries Mertens has turned a cold shoulder on Manchester United by signing a contract extension at Napoli.
According to Italian media daily Il Mattino, Napoli forward Dries Mertens has snubbed the interest shown by Premier League giants Manchester United to sign a contract extension at the club.
This does not come as a surprise to the spokespersons in the Italian press, as they were well aware that the Belgian was happy and content with life in Naples. Moved to a central role this season, manager Maurizio Sarri has brought the best out of the 29-year-old this term.
He is expected to sign a new deal, that will see him remain at the San Paolo until the end of the 2020/21 season. Currently earning €2 million-per-year with incentives, the new deal put on the table for him will see the Belgian pocket a staggering €4 million inclusive of incentives.
This undoubtedly will be a blow for Manchester United and manager Jose Mourinho, who were looking to secure the services of the prolific Belgian. With 22 goals and 5 assists in 24 league starts this season, Mertens numbers are reason alone, for United to be interested in him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has led the line with aplomb for the Manchester outfit this season, but recently ruptured his ACL, and underwent surgery, ruling him out for the entirety of the campaign.
In fact, he is not expected to return to football for the next 9 months, and may not wear the Red of Manchester United again in his career. The Swede moved to Old Trafford in the summer, agreeing to a one-year deal with an option to extend it for another season.
However, he is only expected to return in January, and it seems unlikely that the club will still want the player now, given their interest in Atletico Madrid’s French attacking sensation Antoine Griezmann as well.
Manchester United are not the only team to be affected by Mertens signing an extension as Tottenham too, were reportedly in the race to sign him in the summer, given the below-par performances of Vincent Janssen.
Liverpool have also been long-term admirers of the player, and are now likely to miss out on his services. Despite having an array of attacking options at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp is unhappy with their fitness levels and is looking for a proven goal scorer.
Even Juventus, who only recently joined the race to sign Mertens, will be majorly disappointed due to their failure to convince the Belgian to move to Turin, as the he looks set to stay at Napoli.