Incoming Chelsea boss eyes £25m World Cup star as first signing

Oli Fisher

Maurizio Sarri has made a Belgium World Cup star his number one priority this summer should he become Chelsea boss, a report claims.

The Blues are reportedly closing in on a deal to make Sarri their new boss, with a settlement apparently reached with Antonio Conte and his staff.

According to the Daily Star, Sarri wants to bring Napoli forward Dries Mertens with him to London as his first signing.

Conte allegedly suggested the 31-year-old as a transfer target in each of the last two windows, but failed to convince the Chelsea board who saw him as too expensive for his age.

However, the Sarri faces a race against time if he is to secure Mertens in a cut-price deal as his £25m release clause expires next week.

Corriere Del Mezzogiorno did claim on Tuesday though that the bargain €28m exit clause in Mertens’ Napoli deal is no longer valid, meaning any interested parties will have to pay much more for his services.

Manchester United have also been linked with the former PSV man, whilst Schalke and two Chinese clubs reportedly tried to trigger the release clause.


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