Napoli forward, Dries Mertens came close to joining Chelsea. Surprisingly, he turned down the transfer to renew his contract with Napoli. Why did he choose Napoli over Chelsea?
Dries Mertens was convinced to join Chelsea before deciding to remain with Napoli. Frank Lampard held several talks with the forward ahead of his contract expiring at the end of the season.
According to Terreur, a Belgian reporter, Mertnes was all set to join the Blues before making the U-turn.
“In January when Chelsea knocked on Mertens doors, he was quite convinced”. Said Terreur.
Contrarily, Mertens decided he wanted to stay in Italy because he would go to the Premier League and have to rebuild his reputation.
“But once you are in the south of Italy, with good money and you are a god, why would you change that?”
“He would come to the Premier League as a nobody and in Italy, he is a star”. Added Terreur.
Mertens is expected to sign a new three-year deal with Napoli having become the club’s all-time top scorer during their Coppa Italia semi-final win over Inter Milan.
Lampard viewed the forward as a perfect addition to his squad due to his wealth of experience, goalscoring record, and versatility.
But, despite the disappointment of missing out on Mertens, Lampard is set to add significantly to his forward line.
Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech will join Chelsea when the window opens. The Blues have also agreed on a deal with RB Leipzig for their striker Timo Werner.
Lampard is as well pushing to sign Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell.
Transfer dealings will take a back seat this week when the Premier League finally gets to action after the three months suspension.
Chelsea will take on relegation battlers Aston Villa on Sunday in their first game since March 8.