Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are monitoring Napoli forward Dries Mertens who could be available for transfer in the summer as he has stalled on agreeing a new deal with the Italian club thus far.
The Belgian forward is having his best season since joining the Serie A outfit in 2013 and has led their charge for an automatic Champions League spot next season. Napoli and AS Roma are fighting for second place in the league with Juventus favourites to win the title and the former are in third at the moment just two points behind the latter.
According to Belgian publication La Dernière Heure, Mertens and his current employers have been holding discussions about extending his current deal which expires in 2018. They are willing to sanction an improved contract that could earn him up to €3m-per year (£2.5m) and the forward and his representatives are said to be happy with the offer.
However, the Belgium international and the club are at loggerheads over his release clause. Napoli are keen on adding a hefty exit clause in case a top European club shows interest in signing him in the future, but Mertens and his representatives are keen to keep it low, so as to enable the striker to move to another top club before the end of his career.
United and Spurs are said to be quite interested in bringing the forward, who has scored 27 goals and provided 12 assists in 40 games in all competitions, to the Premier League and the current contract standoff could work to their advantage. Jose Mourinho admitted that the Red Devils need to add to their forward line after seeing his side struggle to put away the chances they create.
Mertens was mainly deployed on the wings until last season, and was not recognised for his goal scoring abilities. But this season, a cruciate ligament injury to Napoli's main striker Arkadiusz Milik saw the Belgian moved to a more central role, which has seen him match his best goal scoring season – 2011/12 with PSV Eindhoven.