£4 Million Contract Offered – Manchester United United Have Taken A Leap Ahead Of Newcastle United In This Transfer Race

Manchester United have taken a step towards signing their summer transfer target Dries Mertens of Napoli. According to reports from Italian outlet La Repubblica (h/t Metro), the Red Devils have offered the Belgian winger a deal worth £4 million per season, after taxes, including bonuses.

The reports claim that officials from Jose Mourinho’s side met with the representatives of Mertens earlier this month to negotiate the offer, but the player’s decisions are yet to be revealed.

Mertens will enter the last year of his current deal with Napoli at the end of the season and negotiations over a new contract have stalled due to the Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis’ unwillingness to offer a deal worth more than £2.5 million per year.

The 29-year old winger has been in devastating form this season for Napoli and has been one of their top performers this season. Mertens, from his 36 appearances across all competitions, has scored a whopping 25 goals and has also registered 11 assists this season.

Manchester United haven’t been at their best in-front of goal this season and their wastefulness has hurt them on quite a few occasions. Mourinho’s men have heavily relied on Swedish talisman  Zlatan Ibrahimovic for goals and when the star striker isn’t available, goals have been hard to come by. The former PSG striker has scored 26 times in his first season in England and has on many occasions carried United across the line single-handedly.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have gone off the boil this year after bursting on the scenes as the future of United attack last time around. 21-year old Martial has managed just seven goals this term from 29 appearances across all competitions, while the 19-year old Rashford has also managed only seven strikes from a total of 38 games.

And captain Wayne Rooney looks like a spent force and could very well be headed for the exit doors in the summer. The 31-year old has managed to find the back of the net just five times from 30 games this season and it is nowhere near the level that is expected from someone of his stature.

So, it does not come as a surprise that Jose is targeting several attacking options in the summer transfer window. And Mertens could very well be the answer for them. Able to play out on the left flank or through the middle, the Belgian will add more quality and experience to the Red Devils’ attack.

The 29-year old is also being targeted by EFL Championship side Newcastle United, managed by Mertens’ former boss Rafael Benitez and Italian giants Inter Milan who are growing back into stature under new manager Stefano Pioli. And United seem to have taken a leap ahead of their competitors by offering him the deal. Now the ball is in Mertens’ court.