Crystal Palace could ‘battle’ Leeds United and Newcastle for Belgian free agent

Crystal Palace are set for a busy summer, with a hot of quality signings on the Eagles’ transfer radar.

Crystal Palace opted to bolster their squad with talented youth stars last summer, with the likes of Michael Olise and Marc Guehi joining the ranks.

However, Belgian outlet Voetbal Flitsen claim that the Eagles have shown interest in Napoli veteran Dries Mertens this time round.

The 35-year-old is Napoli’s all-time record goalscorer (148 goals) but looks set to end his nine-year spell at the club once his contract expires this month.

Mertens has been exceptional for club and country during his career, racking up 104 appearance for Belgium since 2011.

The forward has proven to be versatile in Naples - playing as a false nine, a no.10 or on either flank - which could prove to be a very tempting asset for Patrick Vieira’s side.

Palace are currently relying on Jean-Philippe Mateta, Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew up front and may believe that Mertens could improve an attack with a combined 12 Premier League goals last season.

However, the London club will face competition from Leeds United and Newcastle, with the latter certainly having the financial advantage.

While the Eagles could tempt him into living in London, it is thought that the Belgian is making around £137,000 per week at Napoli - slightly more than Palace’s highest earner, Wilfried Zaha.

It is unclear whether Mertens would be open to a move to England, however the Magpies will feel they are in pole position due to their recent takeover if he does choose to join the Premier League.