The future of Dries Mertens has become a real case. The Belgian’s contract will expire in just 24 days, in fact he will no longer be a Napoli player from 1 July. Except for twists and turns found practically last minute. De Laurentiis still has a € 4.5 million renewal option on his side. He clearly won’t exercise it, given the will and need to break down the salary ceiling (set at 3.5 million euros). Until the deadline he will not be able to find an agreement with another team, with Lazio continuing to court him, waiting for something to move.
OFFER AND REQUEST – The first real contacts between Mertens and Napoli to talk about the future took place last April 26 when De Laurentiis went to the Belgian’s home to meet the newborn Ciro Romeo. From there, optimism seemed to filter through the signing of the new contract but today the situation is completely reversed. No agreements have been found, Napoli, which is willing to offer 1.3 million for another season. The president was waiting for an answer, which came last night: lThe player’s entourage asked for different amounts, evidently higher than what he had put on the plate previously and for two seasons. All complicated, Napoli will not offer more than double what it was willing to offer. The separation today seems more and more concrete, the streets of Mertens and De Laurentiis are one step away from dividing forever.
ALL ABOUT DEULOFEU – The now probable farewell of Mertens is a signal for an incoming shot. The hottest name for the Napoli market is that of Gerard Deulofeu. Spalletti’s idea is to make him play like in Udine, or behind the striker (Osimhen in this case). Exit Mertens, enter Deulofeu. So. The Spanish footballer gave absolute priority to Napoli, is excited to play in a hot square like the Neapolitan one. Udinese have a verbal agreement with Deulofeu to let him go without having to hold him back “with force”. Giuntoli was already following him at the time of Watford and finding the meeting point with him was simple and immediate: 5-year contract for 2 million plus bonuses, easily reaching a salary of 2.5 million per season. Costs in line with company policy. However, an agreement still needs to be reached with Udinese, there is a gap that can be bridged without excessive problems. Napoli has come to put 13 million bonuses on the plate, Udinese could soon accept a new offer of 15 million. The De Laurentiis and Pozzo families boast good relations, several transactions between the two clubs have also been successful in the past. Deulofeu is getting closer to wearing the Napoli shirt. Waiting for Mertens to come out.
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