Chelsea face Dries Mertens transfer blow as Inter Milan launch lucrative offer

Chelsea’s interest in Napoli star Dries Mertens looks set to end in disappointment as reports suggest the attacker is set to stay at the Serie A club until his contract expires in the summer.

And to make matters worse for Blues boss Frank Lampard, Inter Milan are now seemingly in pole position to land Mertens on a free transfer in the summer once his contract expires.

Lampard is in the market to add competition for Tammy Abraham with Olivier Giroud talking to Tottenham among other clubs.

Mertens has been on Chelsea’s radar for some time but the forward wants to remain in Naples to become the side’s top scorer.

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Chelsea’s interest in the Belgium international was first reported by transfer guru Ginluca Di Marzio, who said the west Londoners are ‘serious’ about signing the forward and were in negotiations with Napoli.

The Belgian has racked up 300 appearances for Gli Azzurri since joining from PSV in 2013, scoring 118 goals and winning the Coppa Italia in 2013/14.

But fellow Italian transfer specially Nicholo Schiro has claimed that Chelsea never approached Napoli over Mertens.

“Dries #Mertens will stay in #Napoli until the end of the season. No talks between Napoli and #Chelsea for him,” he tweeted.

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“Zero talks between Marina and De Laurentiis. Napoli don’t want to sell Mertens in this transfer window.”

And he went on to explain that Inter are now in the driving seat to snap the 32-year-old in the summer on a free deal.

He added: “He could go to #Inter in the summer, if he doesn’t renew with Napoli. Inter have offered 2-years contract with a wages of €4,5M a year. #transfers”

Lampard reiterated last weekend that he was keen to bring in a new striker before the transfer window closes later this week.

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