Tottenham and Arsenal are at the front of the line of teams interested in signing Napoli striker Dries Mertens, according to reports in Italy.

Mertens scored 18 goals in 36 Serie A appearances this season, averaging a goal every other game – he found the net 22 times in all competitions.

The 31-year-old enjoyed his best goalscoring season last term, moving into the centre from the wing and scoring 34 goals in 46 games.

Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via talkSPORT) claims Spurs are keen to snap up Mertens but they face competition from fierce rivals Arsenal.

The north London clubs are said to be leading the chase for the Belgium international, who is set to play at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.

Mertens is contracted until 2020 at Napoli, but he apparently has a release clause of £24.5 million in his current deal.

That could see him leave for a relatively low fee this summer, although his age may put Tottenham off paying that price.

Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen are expected to leave Spurs before the start of the next season, so Mauricio Pochettino is likely to move for a new deputy for Harry Kane.

Mertens certainly has the ability to fill that role, but he will probably want a guaranteed starting place.

For that reason, I’d expect him to stay at Napoli.



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