Breaking: Dries Mertens becomes Arsenal first summer signing

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According to a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato this afternoon, Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester United are both keeping a close eye on the contract talks between Napoli and Dries Mertens.

Free-scoring hitman

Mertens, a 30-year-old Belgian international, established himself as one of European football’s most lethal strikers last season.

Since having been moved into a centre-forward role by Partenopei boss Maurizio Sarri after an injury to Arkadiusz Milik at the beginning of the 2016-17 campaign, Mertens has made the position very much his own, racking up a hugely impressive 28 goals and 9 assists in Serie A last season, as he missed out on the division’s top scorer award to Edin Dzeko by just a solitary strike.

Though he has not been quite as prolific to this point in the current campaign, Mertens has nevertheless manged to notch 20 goals and 9 assists across all competitions.

PL bound?

As expected, Mertens’ stellar form at the Stadio San Paolo over the last couple of seasons has led to links between the former PSV star and some of European football’s biggest clubs.

The likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and PSG have been touted as potential destinations for Mertens in the past, but, as per the aforementioned report from Calciomercato this afternoon, the two clubs who look to hold the most genuine interest in the gifted attacker at this moment in time are Arsenal and Manchester United.

Mertens’ contract in Naples is set to expire in 2020, with Napoli having reportedly been left frustrated by their attempts to extend the Belgian’s deal to this point.

And Calciomercato claim that this impasse has led to the interest on the part of the Gunners and Red Devils, with both clubs considering activating the rumoured 28 million Euro release clause in Mertens’ contract this summer.

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