Lost in translation - Mertens will not be exchanged for United outcast Fellaini

Dries Mertens

Dries Mertens is not going to Manchester United this summer.

Last summer Manchester United failed in the transfer market, with David Moyes and Ed Woodward failing to sign many of the big players they targeted. In the end the only big arrival was that of one of Moyes' former Everton favourites. Marouane Fellaini signed for the club in a £27.5 million deal back in September last year.

But new boss Louis van Gaal is not believed to be a fan of the combative midfield operator and is preparing to move him on this summer. The first team to register a massive interest in the player has proven to be Serie A outfit Napoli. Rafa Benitez, who rates the 26-year-old highly, is believed to be pressing his board and president Aurelio De Laurentiis to put up the cash for his signature.

It is even reported in some corners that Fellaini has already agreed terms with the Partenopei - with an agreement between the two clubs the only stumbling block.

It is now emerging in much of the English media that Napoli are willing to offer United the signature of fellow Belgian Dries Mertens in order to supplement the deal - and remove an element of cash in the deal.

The reports are said to originate in Italy - but not all is as it seems.

In fact, Napoli have no intention of allowing Mertens to leave in order to lure Fellaini. In fact it is quite the opposite. Napoli are counting on Mertens' presence to convince Fellaini of an Italian switch.

The original reports in Italy suggest they want to 'use Mertens to convince Fellaini' of a move to Campania - certainly not the opposite, which would see a sensational part exchange deal of Belgians.

Mertens is a good friend of Fellaini's and it is reported he has been messaging the star to convince him of a switch to the south of Italy.

Lost in translation springs to mind. Dries Mertens will not be a Manchester United player, but Fellaini might still join Napoli.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch