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Sunday July 22 2018

ADL: ‘Mertens will stay’

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis assures Dries Mertens won’t be exchanged for Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi - “I love Dries a lot, I’ll keep him”.

The Partenopei patron has taken to doing ‘true or false?’ segments about the latest transfer rumours, and he returned to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli today, starting with a question on Alvaro Morata.

“False,” De Laurentiis replied.

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Saturday July 14 2018
World Cup: Bronze medal for Belgium

Belgium defeated England for the second time in this World Cup and secured the bronze medal in Russia 2018, their best ever finish.

These sides had also met in the group stage when both were already qualified, Belgium winning 1-0 in a game between two second-string teams. They met again in St Petersburg for the bronze medal after losing their semi-finals to France and Croatia respectively.

It took all of four minutes to break the deadlock, as Thomas Meunier got the right side of Danny Rose to slide on to a Nacer Chadli low cross from the left.

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Tuesday July 10 2018
World Cup: France in the Final

Samuel Umtiti’s header from a corner proved enough, as France ended Belgium’s 24-game unbeaten run and reached the World Cup Final.

It’s their first Final since losing the 2006 showdown to Italy on penalties, but in Moscow they’ll face either England or Croatia this weekend.

With Thomas Meunier suspended, Belgium brought in Nacer Chadli and again benched Dries Mertens, while France had Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi back from his ban to replace Corentin Tolisso.

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Saturday July 7 2018
Monchi cold water on rumours

Roma director of sport Monchi denied Dries Mertens is an objective, while pouring cold water on Emil Forsberg and Hakim Ziyech rumours too.

The Giallorossi have been very active on the transfer market this summer, but they are the centre of many other reports too.

During today’s presentation press conference for new buys William Bianda and Ante Coric, Monchi was asked if Napoli winger Mertens was a target.

“No,” was the clear and succinct reply.

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Saturday July 7 2018
Roma still want Mertens

There continue to be reports that Roma are trying to buy Dries Mertens from Napoli, but the asking price is €35m plus bonuses.

According to La Repubblica, the proposal is more than a mere idea.

It seems as if the Belgium international will return to his old wide attacking role anyway under Carlo Ancelotti and would have the same position for Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma.

Mertens had a release clause worth €28m, but it was valid only for clubs outside of Italy and has already expired.

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Monday July 2 2018
WC Player Profile: Dries Mertens

Once considered too short to be a professional, ‘Ciro’ Mertens is Belgium’s most popular player, explains Vincent Van Genechten.

There are so many stars in the Red Devils squad at this World Cup, from Eden Hazard to Romelu Lukaku, yet it is Dries Mertens who commands the most affection in the public eye.

His cheeky persona and tangible love for the sport also won over the Napoli fans and they rewarded him with the most quintessential Neapolitan nickname - Ciro.

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Sunday July 1 2018
Mertens on free TVs and a hairdon't

Napoli striker Dries Mertens revealed what went wrong with his new hairstyle and why his friends want a free TV with Belgium goals.

The forward has impressed so far at the 2018 World Cup, including a spectacular volley, and is preparing for the Round of 16 clash with Belgium on Monday.

“My friends bought a television, so I am thinking about that as motivation,” joked Mertens in a Press conference.

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Sunday July 1 2018
Roma approach for Mertens?

Roma are considering a proposal for Napoli forward Dries Mertens and would return him to his wide role, according to La Repubblica.

His career was transformed by Maurizio Sarri when used as a False 9 in the absence of injured Arkadiusz Milik and hasn’t stopped scoring since.

For Belgium at the World Cup, Mertens is back in his old position on the left wing, providing assistance to centre-forward Romelu Lukaku.

La Repubblica newspaper claims that Roma are interested in giving Mertens that role next to Edin Dzeko.

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Thursday June 28 2018
World Cup: Januzaj defeats England

Adnan Januzaj’s stunner means Belgium top the group and will face Japan in the Round of 16, while England take on Colombia.

This was an extremely strange situation to be in, because both teams were qualified and not particularly eager to top the group, because they would then face Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Portugal, France and Argentina on their path to the Final. Runners-up, on the other hand, faced the prospect of Colombia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Croatia and Denmark.

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Tuesday June 26 2018
Cahill reveals Mertens apology

England international Gary Cahill revealed an anecdote showing Napoli and Belgium striker Dries Mertens is “obviously a decent fella. I really respect him for that.”

The pair met in unfortunate circumstances during a friendly just ahead of Euro 2012, when Mertens shoved Cahill in the back and he clattered into teammate Joe Hart.

A fractured jaw ruled Cahill out of the tournament and they’ll meet again on Thursday in the 2018 World Cup in Kaliningrad.

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