Dries Mertens signs new deal at Napoli
Chelsea transfer bid hit hard as Dries Mertens in the next transfer window have been wrecked after the striker agreed to sign a new contract with Napoli.
According to a sports report by Sky Italy, via Sky Sports, the 33-year-old, after a successful round of talks with the Serie A club, has agreed to extend his contract with the club for a further two years, meaning he will remain at the Stadio San Paolo until at least the summer of 2022.
The news of Mertens agreeing to put pen to paper on a new deal in Naples will not only come as a blow to Chelsea, as Inter Milan – one of Napoli’s biggest rivals in Italian football – were also keen on landing the former FC Utrecht man.
According to the report by Sky Italia, Mertens was only keen to play for one club if he was to stay in Italy and that was, indeed, Napoli. Manager Gennaro Gattuso was persistent in his efforts to persuade Mertens to sign a new deal, with the former Italy international, who took over as manager at the Stadio San Paolo back in December, desperate to keep hold of the striker, who is the club’s joint-top scorer in their history.
Chelsea had been long-term admirers of the striker, who has been on Napoli’s books since 2013, signing from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, and did hold talks about possibly bringing him to Stamford Bridge back in January, as the Blues looked to try and seal a cut-price transfer for the forward as he entered the final six months of his contract.