Dries Mertens snubs Chelsea to sign a new deal with Napoli

Mertens

Napoli forward Dries Mertens is set to sign a new two-year deal with the Italian club, according to Sky Italy.

The 33-year-old held discussions with Chelsea in January, but the Belgian has now agreed to extend his stay at the club until at least 2022.




Inter Milan were also interested in Mertens and offered him a contract, but he did to want to play in Italian Seria A with any other team apart from Napoli.

His head coach Gennaro Gattuso was vital in getting the deal concluded, with the World Cup winner persistent on getting Mertens to extend his stay at the club.

Mertens scored six goals in 22 matches before the season was suspended due to coronavirus and, with his contract expiring at the end of the campaign, Napoli wanted to tie him down to a new deal.




He signed for Napoli from PSV in 2013 and has gone on to play 309 games for the club in all competitions, scoring 121 goals. He was also part of the team that won the Coppa Italia in 2013-14.

Mertens won’t be playing for the club again until at least June 15, after the government banned all competitive sports events until June 14.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte made a decree on Sunday banning “any event and sporting competition of any order and discipline” until June 14, a measure also echoed by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

“FIGC takes note of the decisions taken in the May 17 decree […] and, taken note of the suspension of events and sporting competitions of all order and discipline, in private or public places, until June 14, 2020, […] has prolonged the suspension of sporting activity until June 14, 2020,” a FIGC statement read.

Napoli’s next match in Serie A, before the coronavirus pandemic caused the Italian campaign to be suspended, was due to be a home game against SPAL.

JB

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