Lampard to ramp up pressure as Chelsea target becomes summer priority

Date published: Sunday 10th May 2020 1:24

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has made Dries Mertens his top summer target, with the Napoli forward ready for a new European adventure, according to a report.

Mertens moved to Napoli in 2013 and has become one of the club’s most iconic players, but his contract is set to expire at the end of June and his future is therefore unclear.

The Belgium international was heavily linked with Chelsea in the January transfer window when the Blues were looking to replace Olivier Giroud, although the Frenchman did not secure his move away.

Instead, Chelsea opted to extend Giroud’s contract by a further year in April but according to Het Laatste Nieuws (via Sport Witness), that has not deterred the Blues from looking for a new striker.

Lampard looked visibly frustrated on deadline day at his failure to bring in a new striker and so the Belgian newspaper claims that he will ramp up the pressure on the Blues to do so in the next transfer window.

There was optimism earlier in the season that Mertens would stay on in Naples but some of that hope has faded due to the shutdown of football across Europe since March.

Indeed, the source adds that Mertens is now ready for a new adventure – having played in Belgium and the Netherlands before his move to Italy – and is assessing his options.

Mertens became Napoli’s all-time joint-highest goalscorer with his strike in the 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League last-16 stage earlier this season.

In other news, Christian Pulisic has opened up his frantic first few days as a Chelsea player.

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