Arsenal’s bid to sign Dries Mertens in the summer has suffered yet another blow with a recent report claiming that the Belgian would prefer to remain in Italy.
Mertens has been linked with a move to Arsenal since Mikel Arteta became the club’s manager late last year and the club has continued to try to secure the player’s signature.
Arsenal, however, has been facing serious competition from Chelsea for his signature and it has been revealed that Frank Lampard has already spoken to the former PSV man.
The Express is now claiming, however, that the player would prefer to remain in the Italian league even though he expects to leave Napoli at the end of this season.
He has also been linked with a move to several Italian sides and his agents confirmed that AS Roma and Inter Milan have an interest in securing his signature when he becomes a free agent.
A source told Transfer Window podcast via Express Sports: “Their pursuit of Belgium international Dries Mertens has taken a rather unusual twist in that the player’s representative, we understand, has informed the Stamford Bridge club that Mertens would prefer to stay in Italy beyond his contract expiring with Napoli in June this year, and indeed that there is interest in signing him on a freedom of contract from both Inter Milan and Roma, amongst others.”