Chelsea are not willing to spend £40m to bring in Napoli forward Dries Mertens this month, according to ESPN UK. The website says Frank Lampard is very “keen” to have the Belgian join the Blues before the end of January but his asking price is proving a major obstacle, along with the player’s reluctance to leave Italy.
The 32-year-old’s contract expires in the summer, but it looks as though Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is determined to keep hold of the forward until the end of the season even if he leaves on a free transfer.
Lampard has not hidden his desire for the club to sign a new striker this month but they have been left frustrated in their search. Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani looks determined to force through a move to Atletico Madrid despite interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.
Another target, AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek is reportedly favouring a move to Tottenham rather than a switch to Stamford Bridge, leaving the Blues with limited options.
Whether Napoli will lower their demands for Mertens before the transfer deadline on Friday, we shall have to wait and see, but at the moment, a move for the Serie A striker doesn’t look likely