Belgium international Dries Mertens has all but ruled out a move to Premier League arch rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, telling Football Italia he will stay at Napoli next season.
It’s surely no coincidence that, ever since rumours tipping Maurizio Sarri to return to England went cold, so too has speculation linking Napoli’s all-time record goalscorer with a pair of London giants.
Mertens felt like a typical Sarri signing. The Belgian is a man who enjoyed his best season under the chain-smoking tactician in 2016/17 (34 goals in all competitions) and emerged as a top target for his Chelsea side three years ago.
But with Sarri taking over at Lazio instead, Mertens will still be plying his trade in Italy when Belgium’s Euro 2020 campaign comes to an end (Voetbal24).
“I don’t think I will leave Napoli, no,” said the 34-year-old winger-turned-striker, who replaced the legendary Diego Maradona as the Partenopei’s all-time record goalscorer.
“I won’t be leaving. There’s absolutely no reason for me to leave.
“So I deny any reports of my future away from Napoli.”
In the five weeks since those claims emerged, Arsenal have doubled down on Mikel Arteta’s future while Spurs look set to appoint Paulo Fonseca instead.