- Dries Mertens has agreed to remain at Napoli for the next three years
- The Belgian will now earn £140k-a-week at the club with a £2.2million signing-on bonus
- Chelsea will now be forced to look elsewhere for another forward having failed to land him in January
Chelsea may have suffered a major setback in their chase for Dries Mertens following the report that he has agreed a new three-year deal with Napoli.
The Belgian was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge during the winter transfer window but negotiations between the two parties fell apart at the end of the day.
SunSport reports that Blues' boss Frank Lampard was hoping to take advantage of the player's contract which expires on June 30 and bring him to London.
He was however countered with an offer from Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte who also wanted the 33-year-old in a deal that could earn him £170,000 a week.
The Guardian now reveals that Napoli have found a way to convince the forward to remain at the club despite their inability to match Inter's financial muscle.
Mertens will now earn £140k a week once he signs the new deal to remain at the San Paolo Stadium which also includes a £2.2million signing-on bonus.
Lampard will now be forced to look elsewhere for a back up for England youngster Tammy Abraham at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian joined Napoli from Dutch League side PSV Eindhoven in a deal valued around €9.48 million in 2013 - winning the Coppa Italia and Super Coppa Italia in 2014.
He has made 309 appearances for the club with a total of 121 goals across all competitions, and he is club's joint-highest marksman with Marek Hamsik.
The ambition to overtake Hamsik’s record is thought to have been one of the main factors behind a January move to Stamford Bridge failing to come to fruition.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Dries Mertens has been a long target for Chelsea as reports claim Frank Lampard has been calling the Napoli star on a daily basis.
The Belgian winger has been approached by the Blues before the January window but were told he wanted to break the club's goal-scoring record.
West Ham also joined in the race for the 32-year-old and placed a bid of around £8.5million for his services knowing full well that his contract expires at the end of the season.