Chelsea make Dries Mertens transfer offer and lead Man Utd and Arsenal in race for signing
Chelsea have made an offer for Napoli and Belgium forward Dries Mertens, according to reports in Italy. The 32-year-old is out of contract in the summer and could move to the Premier League.
Corriere dello Sport claim Chelsea are determined to bring Mertens to Stamford Bridge and beat their rivals to his signature.
The reports claim Manchester United and Arsenal are ready to rival Frank Lampard in the race to sign the Napoli ace.
Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is also keen on Mertens who is the all-time top scorer for his current Serie A side.
Chelsea are desperate to strengthen their side this summer with Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Willian likely to leave the club.
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The Blues have already agreed a deal with Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech who will join up with the rest of the squad at the start of the next transfer window.
Napoli remain confident they will get Mertens to sign a new contract in Naples though.
Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis stated in February that negotiations had progressed with a deal close to being signed.
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“I believe we are there and therefore the signature should arrive soon, we can say that in a week we will confirm everything we said,” he said.
Meanwhile, Express Sport understands Chelsea’s players are poised to agree a 10 per cent pay cut amid the coronavirus crisis.
The players, led by skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, have been in talks with the club for last ten days trying to thrash out a deal.
Now both sides are set to agree the deal over the weekend, with the players promised that once the coronavirus crisis has ended, the pay cut will be restored.
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The talks begin after the Premier League and clubs had asked players to accept a 30 per cent across the board cut to help out in the crisis, two weeks ago.
However, players resisted such a move, backed by the PFA, and instead they were left to reach agreement with their clubs individually.
Chelsea’s move, which looks set to be agreed amicably between club and players in the next few days, follows Arsenal’s players hours earlier finally agreeing a 12.5 per cent cut – after initially rejecting the deal offered by their club.
At the time of football being suspended Chelsea were in fourth and on course to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
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