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Dries Mertens agrees to extend Napoli deal to 2022

Belgium international, 33, has been with Serie A club for seven years

Dries Mertens has extended his Napoli contract
Image: Dries Mertens has agreed to extend his Napoli contract

Napoli forward Dries Mertens is set to sign a new two-year contract with the club, according to Sky Italy.

The 33-year-old held talks with Chelsea in January, but the Belgium international has now agreed to extend his stay at the Stadio San Paolo until at least 2022.

Inter Milan were interested in Mertens and offered him a contract, but he did to want to play in Italy with any club other than Napoli.

His manager Gennaro Gattuso was key to getting the deal concluded, with the World Cup winner persistent on getting Mertens to extend his contract.

There is also the option for him to take up a managerial or coaching role at the club once the deal expires.

Mertens scored six goals in 22 appearances before the Serie A season was suspended due to coronavirus and, with his contract expiring at the end of the season, Napoli were keen to tie him down to a new deal.

He joined Napoli from PSV in 2013 and has gone on to play 309 times for the club in all competitions, scoring 121 goals. He was also part of the side that won the Coppa Italia in 2013-14.

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Serie A restart delayed until June 15

Mertens won't be playing for Napoli again until at least June 15, after the Italian government banned all competitive sports events until June 14.

Juventus and Inter Milan play behind closed doors due to the Coronavirus outbreak
Image: Juventus and Inter Milan play behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed off a decree on Sunday banning "any event and sporting competition of any order and discipline" until June 14, a measure echoed by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

"FIGC takes note of the decisions taken in the May 17 decree [...] and, taken note of the suspension of events and sporting competitions of all order and discipline, in private or public places, until June 14, 2020, [...] has prolonged the suspension of sporting activity until June 14, 2020," a FIGC statement read.

Napoli's next game in Serie A, before the coronavirus caused the Italian season suspended, was due to be a home fixture against SPAL.

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