Date: 31st August 2017 at 1:00pm
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The agent of Dries Mertens has confirmed that the Belgian star will be remaining in Italy this season despite links with a move to Chelsea and Barcelona over the summer.

Speaking to Sport/Voetbalmagazine (quotes via Goal.com Netherlands), Stijn Francis confirmed that there was ‘concrete interest’ from the Blues in the 30 year old but the player has opted to stay at Napoli:

“He is good at Naples and believes he can win the scudetto. I’m convinced that the player is smart enough to make his own choices and I know you do not care when you push players to change clubs.”

Francis also revealed that Mertens had a serious offer to join Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian but the forward decided against the move after taking a day to consider his options:

“Dries thought about the opportunity for 24 hours and realised that it was not for him.”

The Belgian international scored 28 goals in Serie A last season after being converted from a left winger into a striker. He has also started this season in good form with two goals in four appearances so far.

Chelsea are continuing to pursue a deal for a forward before the close of the transfer window tonight but a move for Swansea’s Fernando Llorente is in doubt after rivals Tottenham had a bid accepted for the Spaniard.

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