Napoli president De Laurentiis announces Mertens departure

Posted Sunday, July 24, 2022 by

Napoli president De Laurentiis announces Mertens departure

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has announced Dries Mertens' release.

De Laurentiis says their new contract offer has now been withdrawn.

“I feel the love for the club, but I must never forget that football is also an industry as well as pure passion," De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“Unfortunately, that means sometimes going against what the fans want. When a supporter tells me, why don't you keep Mertens, I can only reply that Mertens offered himself to us for another year, because he knows that he's 35 and then has to retire.

“If he makes it a matter of cold, hard cash too, then I have to say no. If I have to pay a disproportionate salary to Mertens, that would take money away from the budget of next season, when it will be needed to sign younger players.

“Yes, I offered him €4m per season gross and he refused. So I said thank you very much to you, your son Ciro, your wife, for everything you've done here and the extraordinary goals scored, but we cannot go beyond our capabilities.

“I need to have money to buy young players who can represent Napoli in future seasons. When we changed all the older players to bring in those like Mertens and Koulibaly, the fans were doubtful, but they became champions here."



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