Chelsea FC favourites to sign £18m star with 12 goals and six assists this season

Chelsea FC are reportedly leading the hunt to sign Napoli star Dries Mertens on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

The Belgium international has stalled on a fresh deal at the Naples outfit and he is looking forward to a fresh challenge elsewhere.

According to Corriere dello Sport via Playing for 90, the attacker is open to possible move to the Premier League and he has the particular preference to work under manager Frank Lampard.

Mertens has already turned 33 but he has still remained a quality performer at the big stage and scored in both Champions League group stage games against Liverpool earlier this season.

He has been hampered with a few injuries this term but has still managed to contribute 12 goals and six assists for Napoli from 29 appearances in all competitions.

Blues boss Frank Lampard is keen on pursuing an experienced attacker this summer and Mertens perfectly suits the requirement, given he could contribute in different positions including the centre-forward role.

Both Pedro and Willian are likely to head through the exit door when their respective contracts expire this summer and Mertens would provide the valuable expertise in what could be a young-looking Blues attack next term.

So far, there has been no pre-contract agreement with the player but the move could be drawing closer with Lampard having recently followed the Belgian ace through his official Instagram account.

Mertens, who is valued at £18m, as per Transfermarkt, has bagged 121 goals and 73 assists from 311 appearances for Napoli. He is currently their joint-top scorer in history alongside Marek Hamsik.

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