Dries Mertens Facing Highly Uncertain Future at Napoli too

Lorenzo Insigne is not the only long-tenured Napoli player on an expiring contract. The deal of Dries Mertens is also up in 2022. The Belgian striker is currently playing his ninth season with the club. He is the most prolific scorer in the history of the team with 136 goals.

On the other hand, Mertens has seen very limited minutes so far. He missed time in the early going due to shoulder surgery. Plus, Victor Osimhen has fared too well to be unseated. The 32-year-old is still scoreless in the campaign after eight appearances, and he has started just twice.

Napoli hold a unilateral option to extend his contract for another season, but they will not pick it up, Calciomercato.com reports. Mertens is one of the highest-paid players on the roster as he makes €4.5M per year. Like most sides, the Partenopei are looking to keep the wages bill in check.

The salary is not aligned with his recent role and level of performance. Mertens will try to turn things around in January when Osimhen will participate in the African Cup of Nations. He will resume being the focal point of the offense in early 2022.

Mertens would like to continue with the Azzurri. He recently confirmed it while speaking from Belgium. In order to do that, he will have to negotiate a new contract with Napoli, accepting a pay cut down to €2/2.5M per year, the site adds. In any case, the parties are in no rush and will decide together at the end of the season.