Chelsea and Man Utd can still sign long-term target despite new contract

Chelsea and Manchester United will be able to sign Napoli and Belgium international Dries Mertens for as little as £26.5 million from the beginning of next year.

The Belgian has extended his contract with the Naples team until the summer of 2020.

Speaking to Italian radio Kiss Kiss, Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis informed the media that the player has extended his contract with his preferred release clause which could only be activated by foreign clubs.

This is a major boost for English duo of Chelsea and Manchester United who could have faced a major battle with Juventus should the Italians be allowed to sign the player.

Mertens has scored 27 goals in as many matches for Napoli this season, and that form has not gone unnoticed by top European teams who have been planning a swoop for the player.

Jose Mourinho sees Mertens as a player who can increase the goals in his current Manchester United squad after they underscored many of their rivals this season.

Antonio Conte sees Mertens as a reliable backup to Diego Costa as they return to Europe next season.

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