Chelsea are “willing to pay” up to €7m (£6m) for Napoli forward Dries Mertens, according to the Gazzetta Dello Sport. The Belgian international’s contract expires at the end of the season, but the Italian club are said to be reluctant to let him go.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis and sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli are reportedly in discussions regarding the Blues’ interest and a decision on the player is expected to be made before the close of play today.
Mertens himself has repeatedly said he would be happy to stay at Napoli until the summer when he could leave on a free transfer, but Napoli may sell him now in order to get a transfer fee for the forward.
The Belgian international has been in decent form, having scored nine goals and provided four assists in 22 appearances this campaign.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard wants to bring in an experienced striker before the transfer deadline tomorrow, and after having failed to land either Edinson Cavani or Krzysztof Piatek, the Blues have decided Mertens is the best alternative.