Mertens ‘not interested’ in following Insigne to Toronto

by | Jan 20, 2022 09:33

Napoli star Dries Mertens insists he wants to stay at the Stadio Maradona and is ‘not interested in dollars.’

The 34-year-old sees his contract expire at the end of the season and according to reports in Italy, Napoli are not interested in offering him a new deal.

However, the Belgium international is determined to stay at the Stadio Maradona and will do anything to convince the Partenopei President Aurelio De Laurentiis.

“Naples has conquered me since the very beginning,” Mertens said in an interview with Il Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

“I have a fantastic rapport with everyone, from the barman in Posillipo to the waiters in my favourite Pizzeria. There is empathy with these people. I am always Dries, not Mertens when I hang around to enjoy the city.

“I have a contract with an option in favour of the club,” he continued.

“I wait and then we’ll see. I know there are two paths, one is the farewell. I know that everyone will cry at Mertens’ home if I leave. But we need to be practical and realistic. Napoli may no longer need me.

“If I leave, I will be grateful for this opportunity, I will never forget any single moment here.”

So how can he convince De Laurentiis to change his mind?

“Score many goals, so he will be forced to keep me in the team. But there is also another thing he can do…”

Which one?

“Rather than waste money signing a new striker, I offer him the chance to sign my son. He is young and with a long career ahead. If he does that, I won’t need to leave Naples or my home.”

Mertens’ son will be born in a couple of months, so De Laurentiis has time to think about his striker’s offer.

The Belgium international has been linked with a move to Toronto FC, where he would reunite with Lorenzo Insigne but Mertens doesn’t seem to be interested.

When asked if he’d ‘fancy dollars’ before retiring, the striker replied: “No, I am not interested. Napoli is enough to me.”

 

2 Comments

  1. Joel Parkes

    I was born in Naples, left when I was an infant, and have returned as often as I could. The moment in adulthood when I saw the small apartment building on the Vomero that my parents brought me home from the hospital to was one of the most powerful of my life. I “get” what Mertens feels for Naples because I feel it to. Even though I grew up in a small city outside of Washington, DC, if someone asks me where I am from, I tell them “Naples”. The Neapolitan people are the warmest I’ve ever met. I hope to retire there.

    Forza Mertens! ADL, don’t be a fool.

  2. trueblue

    @Joel Parkes
    It’s the city that never dies.
    Many of the ‘stranieri’ playing in Naples have fallen in love with it.

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