Chelsea’s dreams of picking up a class player on a free seem to be fading somewhat.
Napoli star Dries Mertens has been linked with moves away from Naples for years now, having made a huge success of his time there.
He’s definitely passed the point at which he could have made his biggest money move – at 32 he’s on the downslope of his career without question. But by letting his contract run down he’s opened up the door for one last massive payday.
He can be picked up on a free transfer, and by the sounds of things in the report in today’s Daily Mail, there are teams queuing up round the block to sign him.
Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all mentioned as suitors, but only within the context of the fact that Inter Milan are in prime position.
They’ve got a love of free transfers, plus a manager in Antonio Conte who loves older, more experienced players. This seems like a good match, and it’s no surprise that their interest is being described as a “blow” to the Premier League sides involved in the chase.