Chelsea are reportedly set to be busy this summer as speculation has linked with various potential transfer targets to bolster Frank Lampard’s squad.
With no new signings last summer due to their transfer ban followed by a quiet January, albeit Hakim Ziyech will arrive ahead of next season in a deal already announced, Lampard will be hoping for further reinforcements.
On one hand it will allow him to stamp his mark on the Chelsea squad, but it will also improve it and ensure that they’re in a stronger position to compete for major trophies next season onwards.
As per Calciomercato, it could start with snapping up Dries Mertens on a free transfer this summer as his current contract with Napoli is set to expire.
The report above, via the paper edition of Corriere dello Sport, suggests that Chelsea have made a ‘mega offer’ for the Belgian international, and so it remains to be seen if it’s enough to convince him to snub a renewal with the Serie A giants and begin a new challenge in west London.
Mertens, 32, has enjoyed a fine spell in Naples, scoring 121 goals and providing 73 assists in 311 appearances as he has firmly established himself as a club hero.
However, Chelsea are seemingly keen to prise him away to start afresh as part of Lampard’s plans.
Elsewhere, the Telegraph report that Chelsea will need to splash out £35m if they wish to prise goalkeeper Andre Onana away from Ajax this summer.
The 24-year-old has impressed for the Dutch giants in recent years, and with question marks perhaps still hanging over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future with the Blues, the Cameroon international could be lined up as a potential replacement.
Time will tell if that’s something Lampard wants to change, but he now knows how much of his possible transfer budget will be needed to sign Onana it seems.
Meanwhile, in a classy gesture from Chelsea stalwart Willian, he has insisted that he will stay at the club until the current season is completed, regardless of whether or not it goes beyond June 30 when his contract expires.
“I want to give everything for Chelsea until the end like I always did, until the end of my contract, until the end of the league,’ Willian told AP, as per the Metro. “I have to discuss with the club to see what we are going to do. But for me, from my side, I have no problem to play until the end of the season.”
It remains to be seen if Chelsea offer the Brazilian ace a contract renewal to remove all doubt over his future, particularly in the long term. Based on his comments above though, it sounds as though he is willing to show real loyalty and finish his spell on great terms if it is to be the end.