Belgian forward Dries Mertens has reportedly decided to remain with Napoli for the remainder of his contract rather then making the move to Chelsea this month.
However, The 32-year-old was recently the subject of a £5m bid from the Blues but the offer was turned down by Napoli, who are said to demand at least three times of that figure to sanction his sale.
As a result, the Blues were planning to make a renewed approach but won’t be the case any longer with The Star claiming that the versatile forward has decided to see out his Napoli contract which expires in the summer.
Mertens is currently out injured with an adductor problem but he has apparently been assured with game-time on his comeback.
Meanwhile, he is just four goals shy of becoming the club’s all-time goalscorer and that record is definitely on his mind with the decision.
However, Chelsea are facing a battle against time to sign a new striker before the transfer deadline on Friday and Olivier Giroud’s agent Vincenzo Morabito has expressed his frustration with his client desperate for a new challenge elsewhere.
In a short interview in Italy, Morabito relayed the same message on Mertens by citing that the experienced forward has opted to stay put with Napoli and won’t act as the replacement for Giroud at Chelsea.