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Dries Mertens reportedly wants to stay at Napoli despite Chelsea interest, and that’s not a bad thing

On the decline, no thanks

SSC Napoli v FC Torino - Serie A Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As per a report from Naples-based Il Mattino, Chelsea are still interested in a move for Dries Mertens.

During the January transfer window, the Blues actively pursued the 32-year-old, but he wasn’t really looking to leave despite an expiring contract, as he was just a few goals shy of the club goalscoring record. Since then, Mertens has indeed become the joint-highest goalscorer for the club — drawing level with the iconic Marek Hamšik.

Along with Chelsea, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid are also said to be interested, but the consensus now is that Mertens will continue his career at Naples, and cement his legacy. They have reportedly offered him a two-year contract worth €4m a year. While Mertens may push for longer or higher terms, the feeling is that it would take much more than that to convince him to switch clubs altogether.

From a Chelsea point of view, this potential transfer has run its course a long time ago.

Mertens may have been the best option available in January, the same won’t be the case for whenever the summer transfer window opens, when there will be a host of young and talented centre forwards available. Mertens has had an illustrious career, but at 32 years of age, his scoring prowess is already on the wane and likely to continue trending down. If the Gonzalo Higuaín experience has taught us anything, it’s that we are better off looking elsewhere.

Rohaan Bhuyan
Rohaan Bhuyan

All the player data and metrics used for this article have been taken from whoscored.com and understat.com.