By 90Min
February 27, 2019

Dries Mertens could yet follow ex-Napoli teammate Marek Hamsik to China before CSL transfer window closes at the end of this month, according to a report.

Hamsik, who is Napoli's all-time top scorer, left Serie A for Dalian Yifang in January in a deal reportedly worth around €20m.


Now according to Calciomercato, Chinese Super League clubs are interested in Mertens ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline, after attempts to sign the striker in recent transfer windows were rejected.

Francesco Pecoraro/GettyImages

While no specific clubs are mentioned in connection with Mertens, it is noted that Napoli are unwilling to negotiate for the 31-year-old forward and will only sell for €28m - his contractual buyout clause. Although this figure may seem relatively small for a top striker, CSL clubs are obliged to pay '100% tax' on all foreign signings, possibly making a late deal prohibitively expensive. In addition each time may only register four foreign stars at any one time.

Mertens has only started 14 of his 23 Serie A appearances this term, after falling somewhat out of favour in Naples since Carlo Ancelotti took charge at Stadio San Paolo last summer. 

The former PSV star had scored 46 goals in Napoli’s previous two campaigns but has only managed to find the back of the net eight times this season.

Francesco Pecoraro/GettyImages

Hamsik will reportedly earn €9m per year in wages. The report notes that if Mertens were to follow the Slovakian to the CSL, his €4m-a-year salary would likely be at least doubled.

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