Arsenal may look to sign one of Europe's deadliest forwards next summer in a cut-price deal, as Napoli begin to worry about a buyout clause in the contract of leading man Dries Mertens.
Traditionally a winger, the Belgian was forced into a more central attacking role last season after the departure of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus and a serious injury to Arkadiusz Milik - instantly rewarding his side with an incredible run of goalscoring form including seven goals in just two games against Cagliari and Torino in December.
Calciomercato report that Arsenal were considering a move for the 30-year-old to replace Alexis Sanchez this past summer, but an early contract extension made it clear that the converted striker - who scored 34 goals in all competitions last season, including 28 in the league - would not be available.
However just as the Gunners may lose Alexis Sanchez on the cheap at the end of the season, they could snatch the Belgian forward away from the Serie A leaders for just a fraction of his market value thanks to a €30m release clause in his deal which will become active at the end of the campaign.
Mertens would be no more than a short-term option for Arsene Wenger's side, turning 31 just before the end of the current season, but the former PSV Eindhoven man looks to be maturing into his new role rather than slowing down at the moment - firing six goals in Napoli's opening five league games including a hat-trick against Benevento.