Despite the sheer ridiculousness of the rumors, people are still talking about Dries Mertens eschewing Napoli, a team that he loves in a city he wants to spend the rest of his life in, and heading to Inter Milan. Despite the fact that what started the rumor was a painfully obvious ploy to gain leverage in contract extension negotiations by Mertens' agent, rumor rag writers across Italy have been in overdrive "covering" this "story."
Here's the thing, though: what they've written so far proves how absolutely little there is to these so-called rumors.
The sheer variety to the "reports" is staggering. Inter's meeting with Napoli on Monday to finalize a deal! No, they're meeting with Mertens on Monday -- nevermind that they can't do that without Napoli's permission -- to force a deal! Napoli denied any meetings of any kind, but don't you worry, that's just a bargaining ploy!
Mertens is Inter's priority! No, he's just a backup plan to Ivan Perisic! But wait, Diego Perotti is their main backup plan to Perisic! Well nevermind that, because he's going to be swapped straight up for Juan Jesus*! Oh forget that, Inter are sending Napoli Danilo D'Ambrosio and €5 million to Napoli for Mertens! What a liar, it's Mertens and €5 million for Hernanes! No! No! Napoli only want cash, and they're willing to make a cut-rate deal! Strike that, they want a notable profit from the fee they paid for him two years ago!
*ed. note: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA come on, do these people even read what they're writing?
It's a confusing, chaotic, horribly conflicting mess, and all it does is show the whole damn thing to be one falsehood after another. Whether it's made up on the spot or all these writers are being fed bad information isn't clear, but if anything, this glut of laughable rumors should make Napoli fans feel much better about the state of Mertens' future with Napoli.
And let's just make something clear: Napoli don't sell many players who are good right now like Mertens is. They sell players who used to be good, sure, but Cavani two years ago and Lavezzi the year before that were the last two actively-very-good players they sold. And when they do sell players who can make an impact, they sure as hell don't sell them to potential direct rivals like Inter. They sell them to foreign teams willing to pay the players' worth.
So just sit back and laugh at these rumors. That's all they're worth.