'Lampard is calling Mertens almost every day' - Chelsea claimed to be keen on Napoli star

Goal.com

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is so keen on sealing a move for Napoli star Dries Mertens that he calls the Belgian "almost every day," according to transfer intermediary Vincenzo Morabito.

Mertens is in the final few months of his contract with Napoli, having developed into one of the club's biggest stars since moving from PSV in 2013. 

In February, Mertens became the joint-top goalscorer in Napoli's history when he found the net in a Champions League match against Barcelona.

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There have been multiple clubs linked with a move for the 32-year-old, who will be even more in demand during the coronavirus pandemic due to his availability on a free transfer after the season ends.

Mertens has been productive in the now-suspended 2019-20 campaign, scoring 12 goals and adding six assists in 29 total appearances for the Partenopei.

But Mertens is reported to have fallen out with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis, which could accelerate his departure from the Stadio San Paolo.

As a number of clubs circle, Morabito has claimed that Chelsea are especially eager to get a deal with the Belgium international over the line.

“Mertens had originally said he wanted to stay at Napoli, but then his lawyer started offering him to various international clubs, meaning something changed between the player and the Azzurri,” Morabito told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.

“I know this because I was working on the Olivier Giroud issue when he was meant to leave Chelsea in January, with a lucrative contract lined up for Mertens.

“Chelsea have now extended Giroud’s contract as a precaution, but they are very interested in Mertens and Lampard is calling him almost every day. I can see Mertens going to Chelsea.”

The Blues have had a longstanding interest in Mertens, with Lampard's side having made an enquiry over his availability in the final days of the January transfer window.

Chelsea were looking to add another striker to compete with Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi, with Giroud expected to leave the club. 

But the France striker ended up staying at Stamford Bridge, and last week the Blues opted to extend the striker's contract through 2021 to avoid losing him on a free transfer following the season.

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