Why Arsenal turned down move for Chelsea target Dries Mertens

Date published: Friday 31st January 2020 7:38

Arsenal reportedly turned down the chance to sign Dries Mertens earlier in January transfer window.

The Times reports that Mikel Arteta was offered the 32-year-old Napoli forward, but decided against the move due to the player’s age.

Gianluca Di Marzio and Sky Sport Italia (via The Metro) claimed that Arsenal had made an approach to sign Mertens.

Mertens, who is out of contract in Naples  at the end of the season, is believed to be in talks with Chelsea over a £5million transfer.

Arteta though was not keen to add the Belgium international to his squad and instead wanted to focus on bringing younger players through.



Mertens has scored four Serie A goals this season and hit five goals in the group stages of the Champions League.

Mertens, who mainly operates as a false nine, but can play as a winger, is free to negotiate pre-contract agreements with non-Italian clubs in January. He could sign for Chelsea at the end of the season, unless the Blues are willing to pay a fee to sign him.

Chelsea may have the edge over another interested party Inter Milan, given comments from Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, who admitted that he would not let the striker leave for another Italian club.


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