By 90Min
November 12, 2017

Atletico Madrid have reportedly eyed Napoli's Belgium forward and leader Dries Mertens as a potential acquisition as speculation of Antoine Griezmann's possible departure intensifies. 

The French goalscorer was strongly linked with Manchester United in July and was thought to be on the verge to leave Wanda Metropolitano in the summer. 

Spanish papers also had him on Real Madrid's wish-list last year as the Galacticos looked for a new striker to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. However, a move to his current club's archrivals seems less likely for Griezmann.

The Frenchman, who has become a key player at Atletico, has a €100m release clause, but has been struggling to find the goal this season and could be keen on departing. 

According to 101 Greatest Goals, his potential breakup with the Madrid team is expected to happen after the end of the 2018 World Cup.

The same applies to fellow Atleti teammate Yannick Carrasco, whose relationship with the club and the players has admittedly worsened in the past few months. 

As Diego Simeone has reportedly been offered a job as Everton's new manager, and, more in general, could leave Atletico at the end of the season, many other players could follow his lead. 

The Madrid side will, therefore, probably need a player who could cover both Griezmann and Carrasco's role next year and Mertens has all the characteristics to do so. 

The 30-year-old has increased his popularity with the table leaders since last year when Gonzalo Higuain left Napoli on a £89m move to Juventus. 

Since then he had his most successful and prolific season, scoring 28 goals in 35 league games and earning his place in Napoli fans' hearts. 

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