Chelsea have been paired with an interest in Napoli forward Dries Mertens, but they could reportedly be set to be left disappointed by the Belgian ace.
The 33-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant spell with the Partenopei, scoring 121 goals and providing 73 assists in 311 appearances for the club.
He currently stands as the club’s joint all-time top goalscorer, and so he’ll undoubtedly be itching to complete the current Serie A campaign to try and move clear ahead of Marek Hamsik.
Even more so given his current contract expires this summer, and so as things stand with no suggestion that a renewal could be imminent, he may not be back next season to add to his tally.
As noted by the Evening Standard earlier this week, Chelsea are said to be interested in the Belgian stalwart, especially with Frank Lampard potentially bidding farewell to Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro this summer with their respective contracts set to expire too.
However, it looks as though they could be at risk of being left disappointed, as Calciomercato report, via the paper edition of Tuttosport, that Mertens is ready to seal a move to Inter and is said to be house-hunting in Milan ahead of a potential switch with compatriot Romelu Lukaku offering his assistance.
It’s added that he’s set to be offered a two-year deal worth €5m plus signing bonuses, and that has seemingly put Inter at the front of the queue ahead of Napoli and interest from China. However, Chelsea are specifically noted in the report too as it’s suggested that the Blues are the only other viable option for Mertens this summer which could scupper Inter’s plans.
Nothing is yet official and it’s not suggested that Chelsea have submitted their own offer. Nevertheless, if Mertens is indeed looking for a home in Milan as noted in the report above, the Premier League giants may be well advised to move a little quicker to land his signature.