Southampton to outmarch Liverpool for Serie A star winger

According to Sky Sports (via Calciomercato), Southampton are ready to make a formal bid to sign Belgium international Dries Mertens from Napoli this summer.

The 28-year-old has scored 11 goals and registered six assists in all competitions this season, while he was heavily linked with a move away from Italy in the summer after providing nine goals and ten assists last season.

Both Liverpool and Southampton reportedly tried to sign the winger, but both Premier League clubs were unable to strike a deal with Napoli.

However, Mertens has failed to sign a contract extension at the Serie A club, despite Napoli being keen to hold on to the Belgian and extend his current deal that expires in 2018.

Recently, he told Belgian news outfit Het Nieuwsblad that he will either sign an extension this summer or leave Napoli, after receiving fewer playing chances than he would have liked, playing second fiddle to Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon in the Partenopei’s three-man attack.

Bundesliga giants Wolfsburg were said to have offered £23.5 million for the Belgium international last summer, which was rejected by Napoli. Meaning the Saints will have to dig deep to lure Mertens to the Premier League.

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