Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb have claimed that Liverpool are preparing a three-year offer for Napoli veteran Dries Mertens, joining Newcastle United in the race for the Belgian star.
Mertens, 32, is out of contract in June and although Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis is confident of keeping the former PSV Eindhoven star, he is cutting it very fine in his bid to renew the striker’s terms.
Mertens has been in top form for Napoli once again this season, scoring 12 goals in 29 appearances. Liverpool are not the only side keen on Mertens, though, with ESPN claiming Newcastle’s potential new owners have contacted Mertens’ agent.
But Liverpool are now said to be preparing a three-year deal for Mertens, as Liverpool look increasingly likely to sell one of Divock Origi or Xherdan Shaqiri – as per the report. With Mertens able to play out wide or up front, he is being eyed.
Liverpool fans will be well aware of Mertens, who scored in both Champions League meetings between the two sides in a 2-0 defeat to the Italian side away from home in September – and then a 1-1 draw at Anfield in November.
TBR’s view – Mertens would be a stunning signing
Especially on a free. Under Jurgen Klopp, Mertens is not going to start in a front three that includes stars Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino. But Liverpool will be fighting on four fronts next season, and cover is required.
Bringing in top-quality cover is crucial. Mertens would still clock up at least 20 appearances in all competitions if he moved to Merseyside, but he will also improve his chances of trophies – and offer the Reds a plan B. A no-brainer for the Reds.