Arsenal and Tottenham are set to slug it out this summer in the fight to sign up Napoli goal machine Dries Mertens, according to media reports.
Valued at £24.5m, the 31-year-old Belgian has scored 46 times in his last 72 Serie A outings - a strike rate that has caught the eye of a number of top European clubs, says talkSPORT.
Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport says the two north London clubs are leading the chase, however, with both sides “keeping close tabs on the situation”.
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With the transfer window soon to open, Mertens is expected to be at the centre of one of the first tussles, and talkSPORT claims that Napoli are “bracing themselves for summer interest”. Manchester United were once linked to the experienced frontman but their interest has cooled, leaving Arsenal and Tottenham in the hunt.
Gunners ‘launch bid’ for Evans
Talking of veterans, the Daily Star reports that the Gunners have “launched a bid for West Brom defender Jonny Evans”.
Like Mertens, the Northern Irishman is 31 and his experience is valued among a string of top clubs, with Manchester City also reportedly interested.
Following the relegation of the Baggies to the Championship, it’s surely only a matter of time before Evans hands in a transfer request, and the Star says that he could be available for as little as £3m, thanks to a relegation release clause in his contract.
Evans (whose contract runs until the end of next season) is reportedly one of a number of West Brom players who will sit down to discuss their futures with club officials this week.
Transfer hunt heads to Germany
Back to talkSPORT, which claims that the Gunners are set to embark on a “£75m spree” in Germany.
The targets in question are Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu, and Sokraits Papasthathopolous of Borussia Dortmund, also a defender.
The 21-year-old Soyuncu, valued at £35m, is also being tracked by Manchester City and Roma. However, talkSPORT says that “Arsenal are leading the way for the Turkish international”, and are also confident of prising the 29-year-old Papasthathopolous from Dortmund in a £15m deal.
To help fund their spree, Arsenal will “listen to offers” for Shkodran Mustafi. The Daily Express reports that Hector Bellerin will also sold for a substantial sum to Barcelona this summer.
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