By Beck Pascal

14th Jun, 2022 | 6:00am

Roma & Lazio join race for Leeds United target Dries Mertens

Leeds United must act quick if they want to sign Dries Mertens with Lazio and Roma joining the race for his signature, according to a report by Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla.

The attacker was involved in 15 goals during the 2021/22 campaign for Napoli as they finished third in Serie A. 

With his Napoli contract up at the end of June and the option to extend by another year seemingly not being triggered, the 35-year-old is on the hunt for a new club after receiving several new proposals. 

According to a report from Voetbal Flitsen, the Whites are interested in signing the free agent in the summer.

Fellow Premier League clubs Newcastle and Crystal Palace are also said to be in for the Napoli veteran with the former potentially causing the Yorkshire club problems with their newly found riches.

No chance. 

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Mertens was a brilliant player in his day but there is a reason he is leaving Napoli after nearly a decade of loyal service – he is coming to the end of his career. 

Yes, he has more goals for the Italians than one of the best to have ever played the game, Diego Maradona, but he is way past his best. 

It would make no sense at all for Leeds to come in for a 35-year-old who is completely untested in the Premier League. 

The style of football is much slower in Italy and Jesse Marsch likes to play intense, pressing football and it is difficult to see the attacker adapting to the level that would be required of him at Elland Road. 

Make no mistake, he is an excellent player who can do magical things on the ball but he simply won’t fit the team that the American is trying to build this summer. 

Marsch wants young, hungry players who he can sink his teeth into and play as part of a system and as said, Mertens just isn’t that.

The dynamo being available for free is tempting but this deal really isn’t worth the trouble for the Whites.

In other Leeds United news, Chris Sutton has teared Leeds to shreds, sharing a major transfer view after a recent “disaster”.