Napoli forward and mooted Manchester United target Dries Mertens has expressed his willingness to move to the Premier League next summer but insists he is happy in Naples as he leads a Serie A title charge for Mauricio Sarri's side.

Mertens has emerged as one of Europe's most dangerous attackers over the past 18 months after transforming himself from a pacey winger to a destructive forward. He has helped Napoli forget about Gonzalo Higuain, who left the San Paolo for Juventus after breaking a 66-year Serie A scoring record in his last season with the club.

Mertens has carried the torch laid down by Higuain exquisitely, scoring 34 goals last season and already notching 12 times in the current campaign. The Belgium international's form has predictably drawn glances from a host of clubs, and he has done nothing to dampen suggestions of a transfer to Manchester United, who are believed to have been monitoring the 30-year-old's progress.

"I'm happy in Italy and I'm fine at Napoli," Mertens was quoted as saying by Football 365. "But maybe in the future I could come to England."

Mertens had a brief stint on English shores recently as Napoli suffered a 2-1 defeat by Manchester City in the Champions League last month, but United will hope to lure the Belgian to Old Trafford amid doubts over the long-term future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is yet to make an appearance this season due to a knee injury.

The revered Swede's current contract is due to run out at the end of the season, and that could lead the Red Devils to partner Mertens, whose request to insert a €28m release clause in his contract was granted by Napoli earlier this year.

The rather paltry release clause can only be activated by overseas clubs, but United, who have been following Mertens "very closely" according to former Napolo sporting director Pierpaolo Marino, may have to wait until they sell some fringe players as they attempt to keep control of their astronomical wage bill, which has risen by 13.5% to £263.5m over the last 12 months.

Dries Mertens
Mertens has been astoundingly prolific for Napoli. Getty Images