The 35-year-old is currently a free agent after reaching the end of his contract with Napoli on 30 June. He spent nearly a decade with the Serie A club, having joined from PSV Eindhoven in an £8.53m deal in 2013.
The Belgian is capable of operating as a centre forward, second striker and as a left winger.
As per Il Mattino (via Sport Witness), Mertens is currently on holiday, but with Napoli due to return to pre-season training on Monday, ‘time is running out’ for him to sign a new contract.
If he can’t reach an agreement with Luciano Spalletti’s side, he will then go and play in a different league rather than signing for a Serie A rival.
Premier League duo Leeds and Newcastle apparently ‘begin to investigate’ whether a deal could be done, but there is also interest from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.
Leeds have already been busy this summer, spending £95m on six new first-team additions. Attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson, winger Luis Sinisterra, defensive midfielders Tyler Adams and Marc Roca, right-back Rasmus Kristensen and centre mid Darko Gyabi have all arrived at Elland Road.
However, there’s still one important box for Jesse Marsch to tick ahead of his first full season in charge of the Whites.
The American said after Leeds’ pre-season friendly win over Blackpool on Thursday that they are ‘actively hunting a striker’.
While he may now be a veteran at 35 years old, Mertens would bring real pedigree to the squad, having racked up 246 club career goals. Furthermore, he surpassed Diego Maradona’s 115-goal record to become Napoli’s all-time top scorer and earned a nomination for the Ballon D’Or in 2017, two clear signs of how gifted a player he has been…and perhaps still can be.
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