The attackers have been told not to chase the money as they enter the twilight of their careers

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has warned Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon over leaving the club and taking up reported offers in the Chinese Super League.

The duo have been linked with potentially lucrative moves to Asia with both Mertens and Callejon coming off contract in Serie A at the end of the season.

With both players now 32, De Laurentiis stressed he won’t be offering them more than what they’re worth and believes moving to China for the money would be a mistake. 

“I’m absolutely not prepared to make a major effort for them,” De Laurentiis told Sky Sport Italia

“Each player has a value, depending on where they play, how they play, how old they are and what they do.

“If they want to sell themselves out in China, overpaid to live a life of sh*t for two or three years, it’s their problem. I can’t consider China to be competitive. China’s far away. If they consider it to be close, it’s their problem.

“In life, you have to choose whether to be happy and find a job you enjoy doing or work just for money. For me, money is a means and not an end; if it’s an end for them then they should go to China.”

De Laurentiis also said Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne must “change his attitude” as he threw his support behind head coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Amid reports of a tense relationship between Insigne and Ancelotti, De Laurentiis stressed the club captain must become more peaceful. 

“I didn’t fight with Ancelotti, he can stay here for another 10 years. In cinema, my relationships, like my one with [director Carlo] Verdone, last a long time,” he said. 

“Insigne’s an excellent sportsman, but he must stay calm, change his attitude and lay off certain things. He’s always had an attitude of discomfort in Naples. I understand him, I protect him and I like him a lot, but he’s always found his situation in Naples to be uncomfortable.

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“Therefore, I just want to say that he needs to calm down and become a more peaceful person, but that’s his problem. Neither [agent Mino] Raiola nor Ancelotti can resolve that.

“He’s a great player and he can be in good form or bad form. If he’s less so, it’s up to the coach not to play him. Insigne can’t come out cracking jokes or with an ‘almost’ defiant attitude. The coach is a family man, 60 years old, and won’t tell you to get lost because he’s three times your age.”

Napoli are currently fourth in Serie A and face Verona at home on Saturday. 

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