Report: Mertens on Atleti radar

Napoli star Dries Mertens could reportedly lead an overhaul of Atletico Madrid’s attack next summer.

According to AS, Atleti believe Mertens can give them a fresh impetus up top, especially given that several forwards could leave the club.

Los Colchoneros were unable to register new players in the last two transfer windows due to a ban, and several of their forwards are facing uncertain futures.

Antoine Griezmann’s poor start to the season has been attributed to him wanting out, while Fernando Torres turns 34 next March and both Kevin Gameiro and Luciano Vietto have struggled to fit in at Wanda Metropolitano.

Furthermore, even Yannick Carrasco “doesn’t have the best relationship with the club and his teammates,” warns the newspaper.

Mertens was originally a winger but converted into a prolific centre-forward by Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri midway through last season, going on to score 43 times since a hat-trick against Cagliari in December 2016.

The 30-year-old has also been linked with Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but AS warns Aurelio De Laurentiis – the Italian side’s President – is a tough negotiator.

Atleti would be looking to bring him in for around €30m, but the Belgian only signed a new contract in May.

Tags Dries Mertens Napoli
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