Atletico Madrid will enter the running for Napoli forward Dries Mertens if Antoine Griezmann leaves the club next summer, according to reports in Spain.
Griezmann appeared on the verge of joining Manchester United last summer before pledging his allegiance to Diego Simeone’s side who were banned from signing players during the close season.
The France international signed a new contract in July but with a €100million release clause still present the 26-year-old continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford, while Barcelona have recently emerged as a potential destination.
Should the former Real Sociedad forward depart after the World Cup, Atletico will turn their attentions to Mertens, who is also being tracked by Manchester United and their Premier League rivals Chelsea.
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Mertens on turning down Chelsea
‘Yes there was interest [from Chelsea], and from other clubs also,’ he said. ‘But in my head there was never an intention to change clubs. This season was really good. I am gong to try and be even better next year.’
The Belgium international enjoyed the most productive season of his career last term, scoring 28 goals in 35 games, and is spearheading Napoli’s bid for the Serie A title this time around.
Mertens, like Griezmann, signed a new deal in the summer after turning down an approach from Antonio Conte but his release clause is considerably cheaper at €28m and AS claim his versatility would appeal to Atletico who could also lose Yannick Carrasco next summer.