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Man Utd bagging this 118-goal veteran for free would be a masterstroke

Why Man United must sign Dries Mertens on a free transfer in the summer

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t the Daily Mail), Manchester United are one of the few Premier League clubs interested in signing Napoli star Dries Mertens on a free transfer at the end of the season/

Dries Mertens, 32, has been one of the top performers in the Serie A with Napoli for a number of years. He has scored five goals in 18 Serie A appearances this season as well as five goals in six during the Champions League. In fact, the 32-year-old is just three goals away from becoming the all-time leading goalscorer at the Stadio San Paolo.

The report (h/t the Daily Mail) adds that Arsenal and Inter Milan established contact with Mertens’ representatives over the previous two months, while Chelsea had a £6million bid for the Belgian rejected in January.

Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)
Dries Mertens celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Manchester United have endured an inconsistent campaign and are winless in their last three Premier League games. They are currently six points off the top-four, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side set to resume Premier League duties with a trip to Chelsea on Monday.

Solskjaer added to his midfield in January, completing the signing of Portuguese international Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. He signed Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire in the summer.

Odion Ighalo arrived at the club on a deadline day loan from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua but he is more of a stop-gap signing to fill in for the injured Marcus Rashford.

United have struggled for goals following Rashford’s back injury, with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood looking toothless and devoid of rhythm. Solskjaer strengthened the forward department with Ighalo but as he is on loan until the end of the season, the United boss should go for Mertens in the summer.

Manchester United players celebrate after scoring. (Getty Images)
Manchester United players celebrate after scoring. (Getty Images)

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Mertens has scored 118 goals for Napoli in 306 appearances, establishing himself as one of the best strikers in the Serie A. In the process, he has won the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup with Napoli. The 32-year-old has featured 90 times at the international level with Belgium.

Verdict

With the experience of playing in over 500 club-level games, Mertens would be useful for the Red Devils. The former PSV Eindhoven man has a proven track record and would be great at supporting the likes of Rashford, Martial and Greenwood next season. Thus, United must aim to secure his signature at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.

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