Napoli striker and Manchester United target Dries Mertens has admitted that he wants to move to the Premier League.
The Belgian has been an effervescent force for Napoli ever since Gonzalo Higuain’s departure for Juventus, netting 38 Serie A goals in 47 games.
Former sporting director Pierpaolo Marino confirmed last month that Manchester United were watching Mertens “very closely” ahead of a potential bid next summer.
And Mertens, when questioned over his future, noted that he was currently happy under Maurizio Sarri, who has invoked a superb style of football during his time in Naples, but admitted he had his eyes set on coming to England.
“I’m happy in Italy and I’m fine at Napoli,’ he said. “But maybe in the future I could come to England.”
Mertens did not begin his career as No.9. The 30-year-old has featured in a variety of attacking roles – as a second striker, winger, and even as a false nine – since moving from PSV Eindhoven to Napoli in 2013 and his overall awareness of the game has dramatically improved as a result.
No wonder, then, that he has thrived under Sarri, who places emphasis on moving the ball quickly through the phases, encouraging players to create easily interchangeable triangles all over the pitch to create a fluid feel to their attacking movements.
And with Romelu Lukaku looking isolated in recent times, devoid of any decoy runners, perhaps Mourinho could turn to using Martens as a second striker to invoke some much needed unpredictability to his side’s attacking thrust.