Antonio Conte wants to sign Napoli forward Dries Mertens for Chelsea this summer, according to reports in Belgium.
HLN claim that the Italian is ‘crazy’ about the Belgium international and has compiled an ‘extensive dossier’ on the 30-year-old.
Mertens has enjoyed a stellar season with Napoli, scoring 24 goals in Serie A plus another five in the Champions League, and his performances have convinced Conte that he would be a perfect fit at Stamford Bridge.
But the Chelsea manager must now convince the club’s hierarchy that Mertens is the right signing to help the club’s push in the Champions League next season.
Conte is looking to bolster his attacking options in the wide areas and is looking at versatile players who can provide competition for Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian.
Mertens, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United, will have one year remaining on his current contract with Napoli this summer, although the Italian club’s president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has claimed that an extension will be signed next week.
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‘With Mertens we are there,’ he said on Wednesday.
‘The signing will come shortly, next week his agents will arrive and define the things that we have said.’
According to reports in Italy, the new deal will include a release clause of €25 million (£21.1m) which will only apply to teams outside of Serie A.