Chelsea have apparently made direct contact contact with Napoli forward Dries Mertens. This comes after they seem to have cooled their interest in Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho. We previously reported there was interest from several clubs for the Brazilian,but the London club look to have dropped out the race.
It appears Frank Lampard has turned his attention to a striker. The club were looking to sign a striker in January, but were unable to find the perfect match.
It is now being reported that they are interested in Belgian Dries Mertens. The 32-year-old is coming to the end of his contract at Napoli. He has yet to agree terms with the Italian club on an extension.
Mertens is a club legend at Napoli. He recently equalled Marek Hamšík’s goalscoring record (a record that none other than Diego Maradona previously held). On 25th February 2020 Dries Mertens scored his 121st goal, matching Hamšík’s record in 211 fewer games.
But, according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Chelsea are looking to move for the striker.
He states: “There have been some direct contacts between Frank Lampard and the Belgian striker who has yet to extend his expiring contract with Napoli.
Should Chelsea be able to convince Mertens, they would be more likely to move Giroud for a small return after extending his contract.”
The Blues have been looking for a second striker to work with Tammy Abraham. Thoughts are they could use Giroud’s new contract as a chance to raise funds. Strikers Giroud and Michy Batshuayi have failed to nab a starting spot, with the latter being sent on loan to Crystal Palace this season.
Dries Mertens Stats
- 6 goals and 4 assists in Serie A this season.
- 6 goals and 1 assist in Champions League
- Averaging 2.9 shots per game
- 1.8 Key passes per game
Napoli have fallen hard however, following the departure of manager Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea in 2018. Struggles with the owner, Aurelio De Laurentiis, calling too many of the shots, now might be a perfect time for the Belgian to depart.
Mertens is apparently free to speak to foreign clubs in order to sign a pre-contract agreement.
Chelsea have already splashed out on Ajax star Hakim Ziyech. They now turn their attention to a striker, and are apparently also looking for a playmaker. German Kai Havertz is the latest player to be linked to the London club.
Chelsea fans, would you be happy with Mertens?