Chelsea are interested in signing Dries Mertens once again, but have been rebuffed in their pursuit of the Napoli striker, who is unwilling to move.
According to a report by Daily Mail, as relayed by Mercato Foot Anglais, Chelsea have rekindled their pursuit of Dries Mertens. However, Mertens is not interested in leaving Napoli, who are also unwilling to indulge in discussions over a possible transfer.
Mertens has seen his career being transformed since joining Napoli from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2013. Up until then, the Belgian international had been an inconsistent winger, one he continues to be to this day while on international duty. At Napoli, though, the 33-year-old has been a prolific forward.
Over the last seven-and-a-half years, Mertens has been a pivotal figure for the Partenopei, racking up 339 appearances, with 130 goals and 85 assists to show for his efforts. The aforementioned 130 strikes make him Napoli’s all-time top scorer, establishing him in the club’s folklore. His exploits have caught the eye of a number of top clubs across Europe, none more so than Chelsea.
The Blues had even been linked with the veteran forward back in the summer, when it was also reported that he was keen on moving to London. However, a move did not materialise, with Chelsea instead opting to sign Timo Werner, who has not really set the stage alight at Stamford Bridge just yet.
On top of that, Olivier Giroud’s uncertain future – he has recently been linked with Juventus – is also likely to put Chelsea in a precarious position, meaning signing someone like Mertens would make for a fine short-term solution to their attacking conundrum.
However, as per the report, Mertens is not interested in joining Chelsea, having refused the west Londoners’ advances over a possible move. Napoli would not have entertained any approach either, meaning the Premier League heavyweights’ interest is set to die down rapidly.
What now remains to be seen is who Chelsea turn their attention towards next, if they indeed wish to bolster their attack. Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has recently been mentioned as a priority target, and it will be interesting to see if Chelsea launch the offensive for him now.