According to reports in The Telegraph, prospective incoming Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri wants to be reunited with Napoli attacker Dries Mertens this summer, and their Premier League rivals West Ham United should be watching developments closely.
Well, The Telegraph reports that Sarri wants to succeed where Antonio Conte has failed on two previous occasions by convincing the club to bring the Belgium international to Stamford Bridge, to start on the right wing ahead of the likes of Willian and Pedro.
The Telegraph say that the west London outfit’s hierarchy consider the 31-year-old to be too old and expensive, and Sarri will need to be at his very convincing best to persuade the Blues to sign the versatile forward – who can play as a striker or on the wing – especially as his £24.5m release clause has now expired.
However, after scoring 22 goals for the Serie A outfit last term and netting a stunning half-volley in Belgium’s 3-0 win against Panama on Monday, he could well be the answer to their attacking issues and line up in a front three alongside national compatriot Eden Hazard this term.
Well, new Irons boss Manuel Pellegrini is desperate to significantly strengthen his newly-inherited squad this summer to ensure they stay well away from a relegation battle in 2018/19 and instead aim for Europa League qualification, and his interest in the likes of Lazio’s Felipe Anderson and Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore suggest he wants a marquee signing to arrive at the London Stadium.
Pedro, who wasn’t a regular in the XI last term and would surely fall down the pecking order if Mertens did sign for Chelsea this summer, could be a great option, with the Spaniard having scored 28 goals in 131 matches for the Blues and 99 in 321 for Barcelona previously, and only having one year remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge.
There is no doubt that the Spaniard would make a big impression for the Hammers, whose fans want to sign a 6ft 3in England international following his World Cup display against Tunisia, given the experience and quality that he has, and he could prove to be a brilliant replacement for the injured Manuel Lanzini.