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According to reports, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could be set to miss out on a key transfer target this summer.
Sky Sports Italy claim key Chelsea transfer target Dries Mertens now prefers to remain in the Serie A instead of making the switch to the Premier League during the summer.
The 33 year old forward is set to see his contract at Napoli expire over the coming months and it is now believed he will join Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan despite Lampard’s attempts to sign him since January.
Mertens has spent seven seasons in Italy since arriving in an £8million move from PSV Eindhoven and has played 309 matches, scoring 121 times – making him the club’s joint-highest marksman with Marek Hamsik.
Lampard had reportedly been in constant communication with the Napoli forward in a bid to convince Mertens to join Chelsea.
Transfer expert Vincenzo Morabito claimed last month: ”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.
“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 line 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.”