Napoli striker emerged as top transfer target for Arsenal

Napoli striker Dries Mertens has insisted that he doesn’t want to leave the Emirates at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old star is currently due to become a free agent next summer and has been linked with switches to the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

I Partenopei do have the option to extend the Belgian’s stay until the summer of 2023, and the ex-PSV Eindhoven ace ‘hopes’ to see that clause triggered.

Speaking to Sky Italia, the player said: “I like to play here and hopefully, then if you don’t, I’ll give the hand and I will thank you for all the years that I have played in Naples. I am honoured to be here and in any case sooner or later everything will have to end, hopefully as late as possible.

“Then the team is doing well, so many good players have arrived and sooner or later I will have to leave the place. There is a renewal clause in favour of Napoli, I hope it will be exercised, then let’s see.”

He found the back of the net for the fourth Serie A match in a row during last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Atalanta and boasts a total of 141 goals and 87 assists in 373 outings for his team since arriving from the Eredivisie outfit in 2013.