Chelsea have reportedly been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Napoli striker Dries Mertens. The 32-year-old’s current contract runs out at the end of the season which has led to speculation surrounding his future.
Gianluca Di Marzio has now claimed that Mertens is keen on signing a new deal with Napoli which would put rumours of his departure to bed. Le10 Sport previously reported that Chelsea had begun talks with the little Belgian, as Lampard looked to add some attacking reinforcements.
The Blues need more goals from their attack, and Mertens would have brought that. He has scored 118 goals and provided 71 assists in 304 for Napoli since moving there from PSV in 2013.
However, a move to England could have been a risk for Mertens and Chelsea. His slight build and style of play might not have been as effective in the Premier League. Lampard is likely to have more success bringing in a striker that is similar in style to Tammy Abraham.
This would mean his team does not need to change the way they play depending on who is starting. Chelsea currently utilise the wide positions a lot and deliver a lot of crosses into the box. Mertens would not have thrived on looping crosses with his five-foot five-inch frame.
Those involved at Stamford Bridge will now need to reassess their options and consider what other forward they could bring in this month. Edinson Cavani has reportedly handed in a transfer request (Sky Sports) and could be another option for the Blues this month.