Chelsea have been tipped to try to swoop for Napoli forward Dries Mertens this summer by Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
The 32-year-old will see his current contract with the Serie A giants expire this summer after what has been a stellar spell in Naples.
Mertens has bagged 121 goals and 73 assists in 311 appearances for Napoli since joining them from PSV in 2013, establishing himself as the club’s all-time top goalscorer in the process.
Despite his age, he has continued to play a key role in the final third this season, and particularly with a lack of depth up front, he could be a smart addition for Frank Lampard, especially on a free transfer.
Di Marzio has now revealed that after a failed attempt to sign the Belgian international in January, Chelsea are back in the hunt for his signature this summer.
“Chelsea have wanted Dries Mertens since January,” he told Sky Sports. “In January, they offered €10m despite his contract ending in June. But Napoli said no because they wanted him to break the club’s record of goals.
“Now his contract is ending and, in this moment, he is not renewing with Napoli. The deal with Napoli is in a difficult way and I know Chelsea want him again.
“They are talking to his representatives, Frank Lampard has spoken to the player and they are pushing forward to convince Mertens to accept their offer.”
Time will tell if it’s enough to persuade Mertens to make the move to the Premier League, or if Napoli will be able to offer him terms in the coming months to convince him to extend his stay in Italy.
With Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro all set to become free agents this summer too as things stand, Lampard could certainly do with bringing in additional quality and competition in his attack and Mertens could be a wise signing to provide just that next season and beyond with his versatility allowing him to play across the frontline.