Antwerp President Says Napoli and Mertens Are Bluffing

Napoli recently saluted Dries Mertens through some social media posts, but not everybody is buying it. Paul Gheysens, the president of Royal Antwerp, believes the strike could still re-up with the Partenopei. He talked to Nieuwsblad.

“It’s not true that we reached out to him despite the reports. He is good player and an excellent person, but he isn’t part of our plans at the moment. He’s been great in Italy, he has a nice home and he has gotten used to living there. I believe they will eventually strike a deal. I think that the farewell was a way to hide the negotiation.”

Still, Napoli do seem to have moved on from Mertens, and they are targeting Giacomo Raspadori to replace him. Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali spoke to Sky during an event dedicated to Francesco Magnanelli.

“He is ambitious, but we already completed an important sale, plus Jeremie Boga departed in January. We don’t need further exits. It’s complicated when a player desires to switch teams, but it’s still early. The Partenopei asked for him, and we will see what happens in the next few days. The window is long. We have received many requests, but we want to maintain the quality of our squad because Serie A is difficult and we have important goals.”

Our Take on Napoli, Mertens and Raspadori

It would be a remarkable masquerade if the Belgian striker did come back, and it should be noted that he hasn’t said a word about it yet. Given their other departures, the Azzurri could still use his leadership. Instead, the negotiation with Sassuolo promises to be one for the ages given the stiffness of both parties.

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