Mertens is unwilling to sign a contract extension at lower wages, and the Belgian can swap San Paolo for San Siro with China another option.
Mertens has been a standout servant for the Blues in Serie A for several seasons. And the news could not have come at a worse time. He recently overshadowed Diego Maradona’s goal scoring exploits in southern Italy, managing 88 strikes in Serie A since joining from PSV in 2013.
However, the 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of the 2019/20 season. According to reports in Italy, with both Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport reporting Mertens will join Antonio Conte’s revolution at the San Siro.
Inter Milan are ready to match his current 4 million Euros salary, if not give him a pay raise. With turmoil at Napoli following their five match winless streak, it seems unlikely that Mertens will remain beyond the end of his current contract.
There seems to be truth in the statement with Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, stating that Mertens will have to accept a contract extension with reduced wages. The player’s recent protest against the enforced ritiro has also clouded the promise of a new deal.
San Siro seems like a potential opportunity in this scenario. Under Conte, Inter Milan have overtaken Napoli’s role to challenge Juventus’ dominion on Serie A.
The opportunity to dethrone the Old Lady alongside good friend Romelu Lukaku will be difficult to overlook.
The offer on the cards is also enticing. Depending on who you believe, a two-year deal worth 6 million Euros is a significant pay rise on his current terms at Napoli.
The Belgian fits the mold akin to Alexis Sanchez. With the Chilean a long-term injury concern before he returns to Manchester United, Mertens seems a like-for-like replacement. His age remains a concern as Conte builds his Milan dynasty.
The Red Dragon Awaits
It looks likely this is rumor mill going in overdrive during the international break.
While a move away from San Paolo is on the cards for Mertens suitors would be rubbing their hands in glee. The former PSV player is also tipped to join Marek Hamsik in the Chinese Super League. Given Napoli’s current turmoil and the club’s willingness to get rid of him, he can even be allowed to leave in January.
Turmoil at Napoli
It will be a sad end to his journey with the club. But Mertens is not the only player out of favor at San Paolo.
Elseid Hysaj, Faouzi Ghoulam and Allan are all out of favor at Napoli. With the club willing to cash in on Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly, a major squad upheaval is on the cards.