Chelsea plotting Dries Mertens approach but Man Utd and Arsenal consider transfer hijack
Chelsea reportedly still hold an interest in signing Dries Mertens this summer but both Manchester United and Arsenal could now hamper their chances. Napoli have been desperate to tie Mertens up to a new deal for several months now to no avail.
He was subject to plenty of interest in the January transfer window, but Napoli were not open to any offers.
The Italian club felt confident they would eventually agree terms on a new contract for the Belgium international.
Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis stated in February that negotiations had progressed with a deal close to being signed.
“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,” De Laurentiis said back then.
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No deal has materialised though with Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport listing a number of issues as to why negotiations had fallen through.
It is claimed his representatives, Stirr Associates, are now “evaluating various possibilities” heading into the summer transfer window.
That could see Mertens become available for free when the summer transfer window eventually opens.
When that will be remains to be seen but FIFA recently admitted players’ contracts will be extended to allow for the season to be extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Still, the report claims Mertens is considering all options and at least one could come from the Premier League.
Chelsea were one of the first teams to be linked with Mertens in January, only to be turned down of any approach.
But it is suggested they will likely try again when his contract does expire.
The Blues though could face strong competition from United and Arsenal though with both clubs said to be considering an approach.
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Chelsea are hoping to bring in at least one other forward option in the summer with Olivier Giroud expected to leave the club.
United, meanwhile, were hoping to sign Erling Haaland in January, only to pull out of negotiations due to demands from the striker’s representatives.
Odion Ighalo was signed on a short-term loan deal and is likely to leave in the summer meaning they will need to find another option.
Arsenal have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future to try and sort out with the Gabon international having just one year left on his contract.
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