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Blow for Chelsea as transfer target could snub exit and pen contract renewal instead

Chelsea could reportedly be set for a transfer blow as Dries Mertens is being tipped to pen a contract renewal with Napoli amid ongoing doubts over his future.

The 33-year-old has enjoyed a stellar spell with the Partenopei, scoring 121 goals and providing 73 assists in 311 appearances for the club, establishing himself as their joint all-time top goalscorer.

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However, with his current contract set to expire this summer, doubts have emerged over his future in Naples, as given the quality that he continues to display, it’s likely that he will have plenty of interest.

As noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, both Inter and Chelsea have been linked with a swoop to bolster their respective attacking options with the Belgian international, but they could be set to suffer a setback.

It’s suggested in the report above that Mertens is potentially edging towards reaching an agreement with Napoli on a renewal as after months of a lack of progress, there might not be too much distance between the two parties and an announcement perhaps isn’t too far off. That said, it’s added that nothing is signed and official yet, and so Inter and Chelsea remain on standby in case the opportunity opens up again.

That twist is echoed by Football Italia, via Sportitalia, who also report that ultimately it appears as though Mertens could now end up committing his future to Napoli.

It comes after Goal Italy reported at the weekend that Chelsea were still pushing for the Belgian ace with Frank Lampard particularly keen to land his signature, but it appears as though the Blues boss could now be left disappointed.

With Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro all seeing their respective contracts expire this summer, he may well need attacking reinforcements to help fill those voids if they don’t stay while there is already a lack of firepower and depth next to Tammy Abraham, but Mertens may not end up being one of the solutions it seems.

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