Serie A side keen on Stamford Bridge star.
Chelsea are bracing themselves for a bid for Raul Meireles after Napoli identified the Portuguese midfielder as their number one summer target.
The Neapolitan side narrowly missed out on securing Champions League qualification last season and coach Walter Mazzarri is keen to ensure they clinch a top-three finish next term.
Argentinian forward Ezequiel Lavezzi is expected to finalise his £21m move to Paris St Germain later this week, providing much-needed funds for Mazzarri to strengthen his squad.
And, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Napoli boss, who is keen to bolster his side’s midfield, is expected to launch a bid for Meireles, who made 45 appearances for Chelsea last season after joining from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.
Napoli may well find it tough to land Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles, not least because he was a key part of the side that secured the Champions League triumph last term. However perhaps the fact that the man who persuaded the former Liverpool man to leave Anfield for Stamford Bridge, Andre Villas-Boas, is no longer at the Stamford Bridge could act as a potential motivating factor.
Meireles cost Chelsea £12m a year ago and the 29 year old made 37 starts across all competitions last term and is sure to be a player that Roberto Di Matteo uses frequently but that seemingly won’t prevent Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri from making an offer for the box to box midfielder.
Not having Champions League football to offer the Blues man could be the biggest obstacle in the way of such an ambitious move and the Serie A side must hope they can prevent the sale of any other top performers with Edinson Cavani also proving a very popular target with a number of prospective suitors.