Newcastle United and Liverpool have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Napoli forward Dries Mertens, with the Belgian putting pen to paper on a new deal in Naples.
The Italian club confirmed the news this afternoon, with Mertens agreeing to terms on a new deal to take him into 2022.
It puts to bed months of speculation surrounding the experienced forward. In April, Liverpool were linked with a move for the Belgian, as long as his deal expired and they could get him on a free. It was believed the Reds could potentially offer Mertens a three-year deal at Anfield.
Newcastle United were also thought to be keen on landing Mertens. It was believed that he was a top target if their takeover goes through.
However, all that can be put to bed now, with Mertens set to stay in Italy. Of course, you never know in football, but you’d assume this is the end of the matter in terms of English clubs interest.
The Belgian has scored 13 times in all competitions this season for Napoli as he once again hits double figures for the Serie A club.
While Mertens would have been a very solid signing for Newcastle and Liverpool, he’s 33 now.
Offering a three-year deal would have been a big risk for a player of that age. Of course, his goals record is excellent and he looks as fit as he ever has.
But in the grand scheme, this isn’t one for Reds or the Toon Army to worry about too much. Mertens loves it in Napoli.
It’s little surprise really, then, to see him commit his future to the Italian club.