Liverpool may miss out on target Dries Mertens as the Belgian is reportedly close to agreeing an extension with current club Napoli.
Mertens was the star of the show for Napoli in their recent clash with Bologna as he scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win. It was a performance that demonstrates exactly why clubs could be sniffing around him. The first goal showing great dribbling ability and an eye for goal; the second a composed finish after a good run; and the third a powerful strike that nearly burst the net from range.
Having scored 11 goals this season in all competitions, including five in the Europa League, Mertens attracted notable interest from the Reds in January, according to reports
His agent was quick to deny rumours of a January exit however:
“I have heard these rumours but there is absolutely nothing concrete,” Soren Lerby told FCInterNews.
“We are not talking about these rumours. Dries is not leaving Napoli in January.”
Despite making just four league starts this season, the 28-year-old is keen to extend his current contract which runs until 2018, according to Tuttomercatoweb.
Last month he told Belgian outlet dhenet.be: “I think that the coach and the staff still consider me to be an important part of the team.
Napoli legend Diego Maradona has even admitted his admiration for the player in an interview for La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I really like Koulibaly and Allan, but who makes me excited is Mertens: he dribbles, he can play with the team and has a good shot from distance. Sarri should use him more.”