Chelsea could reportedly face a difficult task in trying to prise Dries Mertens away from Napoli ahead of the transfer deadline.
As noted by Sky Sports, the Blues are said to be in discussions with the Italian giants to sign the Belgian international in a bid to bolster their attacking options.
It’s a sensible move in many ways given Mertens has the experience, quality and track record at the top level to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, and add much needed depth up top to challenge the likes of Tammy Abraham for a starting place.
Further, given his current contract is set to expire this summer, that would make him a potentially bargain purchase with Sky Sports adding in their report above that he could cost around £5m.
Given Chelsea have scored 41 goals in their 24 Premier League games to date, giving them the lowest tally of the top four, coupled with the lack of alternative options to Abraham, it’s clearly an area in which they will feel they must improve.
However, Calciomercato report, via the paper edition of Tuttosport, that while they’re ready to bid €7m for Mertens in a bid to replace Olivier Giroud if he leaves before the deadline, there is one particular major issue that they could face in trying to convince him to move to west London.
It’s noted that he’s been injured for some time now and hasn’t ruled out signing a contract extension with Napoli, but the key factor could be that he wants to stay until the summer at least as he wants to beat Marek Hamsik’s goal record for Napoli.
Hamsik currently sits top of the standings with 121 goals in total, while Mertens has already surpassed legend Diego Maradona to reach second spot. He’s now just three goals behind Hamsik, and so it remains to be seen just how important a place in the history books with the Partenopei is to him and it’s touted as a potentially pivotal factor in the report above.