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Angry De Laurentiis puts Mertens and Gabbiadini rumors to bed

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You wouldn't like ADL when he's angry.

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Last week, there were absolutely ridiculous rumors that Inter Milan were about to buy Dries Mertens. The talk started when Mertens' agent declared that there was a "real possibility" that his client would move to Inter, which there never was, and snowballed from there. The rumors eventually even snatched up the supposedly-unhappy-but-not-actually-unhappy Manolo Gabbiadini as part of a ludicrous swap deal between Napoli and Inter involving Hernanes and Juan Jesus.

Now, Aurelio De Laurentiis has had enough.

We will not make transactions with the nerazzurri, neither incoming nor outgoing.

I called Inter to say "how dare you to contact our player or his agent?" [Inter director Marco] Fassone however assured me that neither the coach nor the [Inter sporting director Piero] Ausilio contacted Mertens. None of the players of our attack are leaving.

As for the agent of Mertens, I am very annoyed by the rumors that he spread around. My lawyers tell me I should take legal action against him.

-Source: Corriere dello Sport

The quotes are part of a larger interview that Napoli's owner did with Radio Kiss Kiss that has other interesting bits we'll dig into later, but this is the vital section that needs highlighting in the here and now.

Frankly, it's bizarre that the rumors even kicked off in the first place. Napoli just don't sell good players very often, and when they do they don't sell them in-country to teams they see as current or potential rivals. Mertens and Gabbiadini are definitely good players, and Inter would definitely qualify as a potential rival, or at least close enough to one that adding Mertens and/or Gabbiadini would go a long ways towards helping them become one.

The rumors were always ridiculous, and now the man who would know the most about their veracity has called them exactly what they are: a steaming pile of crap. Threatening legal action against Mertens' agent over this seems like a bit much, but, well, you can never count out De Laurentiis from going that extra mile.