Chelsea are in discussions over a potential move for Dries Mertens after the forward decided he will not be signing a new contract with Napoli.
Mertens, 32, has racked up 300 appearances for the Italian outfit since completing a move from PSV in 2013, scoring 118 goals.
His current deal at the San Paolo Stadium is set to expire this summer, meaning any potential suitors can begin negotiating a free transfer with the player’s representatives this month.
The only way Napoli can prevent that from happening is by tying Mertens down to a new deal, but the frontman looks to have already made up his mind.
According to Le 10 Sport, the Belgium international will not be putting pen to paper on a contract extension in Naples, alerting a number of top European clubs.
Chelsea and Inter Milan are said to have already opened talks with Mertens’ representatives, while other unnamed sides are considering approaches.
If they want to snap him up immediately, though, interested parties could land the player on a cut-price deal in January.
Inter Milan are also said to be in discussions over a move for Mertens
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
The Express have previously reported that Arsenal are looking to sign Mertens in the January transfer window.
It is believed the Gunners have already contacted Napoli over his availability as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad at the Emirates this month.
Napoli will hope to cash in on Mertens before the window closes, rather than allow him to walk out the door for free in the summer.
Blues boss Frank Lampard is keen to bring in a striker this month
Chelsea are seemingly in greater need of a striker this month, nevertheless, with the futures of backup frontmen Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi highly uncertain.
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