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Napoli offer Dries Mertens contract extension until 2020

Napoli want to keep one of their better players tied down with a new contract.

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Napoli signed Belgian international Dries Mertens from Dutch club PSV a little over two years ago, and since then he's fallen in love with the city, declared his intentions to make it his lifelong home, and even decided that he wants to adopt at least one city orphan. Oh, and he's been a pretty darn good player for Napoli too, scoring special goals and creating chaos in the attacking third of the pitch even with inconsistent playing time.

Now Napoli want to reward him with a new contract, and have reportedly tabled an offer that will keep him with the club until 2020. Though his deal is currently due to expire in 2018, keeping Mertens tied to the team for as long as possible is a wise move, keeping him happy and settled while the team transitions under a new manager.

The offer comes in the wake of a rumor-filled summer for Mertens. With him facing an uncertain Napoli future under a new manager with new tactics, there were frequent links to moves away from the San Paolo, especially including numerous rumored offers from Inter Milan. With teams likely to remain interested in Mertens over the next year, it's important for Napoli to tie him up now, both to keep him secure and to increase their leverage in any future transfer negotiations.

Of course, Napoli don't have a great recent track record with extensions, with Gonzalo Higuain flatly turning down an extension in August that would have even included a pay raise. The club's relationship with Mertens seems much better than with Pipita, though, so hopefully no similar problems erupt this time around.