Mertens: Ball in Napolis court

Dries Mertens has put the ball in Napoli’s court after declaring that he would like to stay beyond this summer.

Mertens is only one goal away from Diego Maradona’s Napoli record of 115, but his contract expires at the end of the season.

“I’ve never felt so fresh,” the 32-year-old told RBTF.

“I’m 32, but I feel better than some 25-26 year olds. Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids. I’m playing the best football of my career and I intend to play well for a long time.

“Of course I think about Maradona’s record. Everyone’s talking about it! I’m very proud about getting so close to a legend like Diego.

“I’ve met him twice, but we were in Naples and you know how it goes: everyone broke our balls, they wanted a photo or an autograph.

“I can only say that I want to stay at Napoli, but right now I can’t say any more than that.

“I’m Belgian, but I feel like I’m Italian. The sun, the small coffees, the pasta… it’s always there for me.

“If I leave Napoli, I’ll miss everything. I certainly don’t see myself signing for another Italian club. It would make me feel strange because I feel at home in Naples.

“I also don’t see myself signing for a club in China or Qatar: like I said, I hope to play for as long as possible in Europe at the highest level.

“I don’t think I’ll finish my career in Belgium.”

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