Napoli star Dries Mertens tipped to join Chelsea on a free transfer

Chelsea have been fancied to land the signature of Dries Mertens on a free transfer with manager Frank Lampard said to be calling him almost everyday.

The west London side had attempted to sign the Belgium international in January but a deal did not materialise before the transfer deadline.


This coincided with their decision to keep hold of Olivier Giroud and it has recently been reported that they have extended the Frenchman’s contract until June 2021.

Still, Mertens has been regularly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge and Vincenzo Morabito, who acts as a transfer intermediary for several Italian clubs, has revealed that the Blues are ‘very interested’ in the Belgian.

He added that Mertens was not able to join the Blues at the beginning of the year but could do so during the summer with Lampard ‘calling him almost every day’ to lure him to the club.

“Mertens had originally said he wanted to stay at Napoli, but then his lawyer started offering him to various international clubs, meaning something changed between the player and the Azzurri,” He told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli (h/t Goal.com)

“I know this because I was working on the Olivier Giroud issue when he was meant to leave Chelsea in January, with a lucrative contract lined up for Mertens.

“Chelsea have now extended Giroud’s contract as a precaution, but they are very interested in Mertens and Lampard is calling him almost every day. I can see Mertens going to Chelsea.”

Mertens’ current deal with Napoli expires at the end of June and he has apparently stalled on the Italian club’s offer of a two-year extension.

Still, he is likely to remain with them for at least a month beyond his contract such that he can finish the season, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Lampard could be without experienced players such as Willian and Pedro when their contracts expire during the summer and that may be a reason behind the pursuit of Mertens.

Apart from the Blues, the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle United have also been credited with an interest in the £130,000-a-week star, who can play anywhere across the attack.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are reportedly prepared to hand him a three-year contract and the Blues may have to make a similar proposal in order to convince him to join them.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com