A week before the expiration of his contract in Naples, Dries Mertens (35) is waiting for a new club. The Red Devil prefers to stay with the SSC Napoli and is ready to hand over half of his wages. This equates to about 2.5 million euros per year.
“Siro”. Dries Mertens indicated his love for Campania and Naples as soon as he chose the first name of his newborn son. ‘Ciro’ is a popular Napoli name and also the nickname of Napoli fans for their Belgian striker. Mertens played for the club for nine years and ousted Diego Maradona, among others, to become the club’s all-time leading scorer. At the age of thirty-five, it now appears that the adventure is about to end. Mertens’ contract expires on June 30 and the man from Leuven has not received an offer from the club for an extension under revised terms.
Because he would like to stay in Naples with his family, Mertens made a proposal. He wants to hand over half of his wages, which is around 5 million euros a year. There has been no counter proposal from Napoli yet. Mertens could examine other proposals to try to win a deal in Napoli.
Earlier, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis made it clear that Mertens “has to choose between money and the good life”. It seemed to indicate that the door in Naples was still open. But the Neapolitans are in no hurry. Precisely because they know Mertens would prefer to stay, they can push potential negotiations beyond the June 30 border.
Even in the event of a disagreement with Napoli, a return to Belgium immediately does not appear to be a problem for Mertens. Antwerp looked at his file, but focused on another demon in his thirties, Toby Alderweireld. Other clubs lack the necessary funds or prefer not to invest in players who cannot be resold at an added value.
The Red Devil himself wants to continue playing at the highest level possible so as not to jeopardize his chances of playing in the Qatar World Cup in November.