Transfer Rumour: Dries Mertens emerges as fallback option for Manchester United

Manchester United are reportedly set to target Napoli attacker Dries Mertens after being frustrated in their pursuit of different right wing prospects.

According to TransferMarketWeb, Manchester United are set to reignite their interest in Napoli superstar Dries Mertens. The Red Devils have been frustrated at their failure to land a quality right winger and have locked in the Belgian international as a fallback option.

Manchester United will still be pursuing other preferred targets like Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic. But, should they fail to land them within due time, they will target Dries Mertens towards the end of the English transfer window.

Set to be teammates at club level as well? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
Set to be teammates at club level as well? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Dries Mertens has blossomed into a goalscoring machine for Napoli. The Belgian international recorded 22 goals and 12 assists in the 2017-18 season. Mertens had a subdued campaign at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But, his quality is never in doubt, at least as far as club football is concerned.

At Manchester United, the need for a right winger is urgent. Jose Mourinho has been lamenting the lack of an out-and-out right-sided winger since the summer of 2017. Manchester United though, have failed to land their preferred targets to fill the spot, starting from Ivan Perisic, Goncalo Guedes and then circling back to Perisic again.

Jose Mourinho has not been shy at expressing his frustration at a lack of movement in the transfer window by Manchester United officials. The Portuguese has said time and again, that he expects two more arrivals, with centre-back and the right wing supposed to be the target positions to fill.

While Dries Mertens has been played as a forward by Napoli, he is equally threatening to the opposition defence when played on the wing, which was his natural position to begin with.

Manchester United have been interested in the player a while ago as a deputy to Romelu Lukaku and are set to renew their interest in the Belgian. What his arrival will also do is equip Mourinho with an able goalscoring deputy to Lukaku and allow him to deploy Rashford out wide on the left.

The report iterates that Napoli might be open to listening to offers for Mertens, with the club themselves looking to bring in Karim Benzema to reunite the Frenchman with Carlo Ancelotti.

Napoli though, will most likely ask for a fee around the €40 million mark, with Mertens having two years left on his contract as of now. It will be interesting to see how things develop in the market for Manchester United.

But, should they turn towards Mertens, they would be getting a natural goalscorer and a short-term option to fill the wing that is better than most. Mertens might be a fallback option. But, he could become the difference for Manchester United in the 2018-19 season should they decide to bring him in.

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