Manchester United could agree deal with Napoli for £25m forward

Manchester United are reportedly considering a summer move for Napoli frontman Dries Mertens.

The Belgian forward has been prolific since Maurizio Sarri turned him into a centre-forward, scoring 46 league goals in the last two seasons, and could be on the move as a result.

According to The Sun, United have enquired about the 31-year-old’s £25m release clause and may trigger it to bring him to Old Trafford.

Mertens was initially a winger when Napoli signed him from PSV in 2013, but it wasn’t until the start of last season that he become a goal machine in Serie A and saw his stock rise.

The sale of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus in 2016 and an excruciating injury to Arkadiusz Milik forced Sarri to use Mertens in a makeshift centre-forward role, and the Belgian has become one of Serie A’s most prolific scorers behind former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko.

As for United, Jose Mourinho‘s side could strengthen their options in attack for a tilt at the Premier League next season and may be tempted into doing business with Napoli if the likes of Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford leaves.

Rashford and Martial have struggled for playing time since the January arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal and the Chilean international’s form has largely been below-par and come under scrutiny.

Martial has been linked to Juventus and Barcelona this summer and could be allowed to leave for the right price, as he’s failing to nail down a starting place.

If the 22-year-old exits Old Trafford, Mertens would be a good replacement. He’d provide more goals and assists and should link-up well with fellow countryman Romelu Lukaku.

The duo have played a lot together for Belgian under manager Roberto Martinez, which could see Mourinho replicate such an approach to get the best from his attack next season.

The likes of Jesse Lingard could see his place in the side up for grabs if Mertens is signed.

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Kazeem Olawale

Kazeem Olawale

Kazeem Olawale, 24-year old sports writer. An avid Arsenal and Real Madrid fans. If not here, always making round on his banter Arsenal blog, www.goonerrepublic.com