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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was strongly linked with a move for Napoli forward Dries Mertens. Chelsea were keen on signing the Belgian in the January transfer window, but he was more interested in being the top scorer of the Naples club, as he was just a goal short of beating Marek Hamsik’s record.
Mertens has now put rumours of a future at Stamford Bridge beyond doubt as he has signed a contract extension with Napoli.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed the deal on Wednesday with the forward later posting a video on Twitter with a caption ‘the story continues’.
With the Blues set to confirm Timo Werner’s deal, there would have been no need for the signing of Mertens.
According to Belgian football expert Kristof Terreur, Mertens turned down the chance to join Chelsea because he would be a nobody in the Premier League compared to being a star in Italy.
“In January when Chelsea knocked on the door, he was quite convinced,” Terreur told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“But once you are in the south of Italy, with good money and you are a god, why would you change that?
“He would come to the Premier League as a nobody and in Italy he is a star.”