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Dries Mertens held Chelsea transfer talks before deciding to sign Napoli contract which includes stunning new release clause

Belgian ace scored 28 goals in 28 Serie A starts and was being lined up by Antonio Conte before committing his future

Dries Mertens admits he held talks with Chelsea before signing a new Napoli deal.

The Belgian star was in fine form this season, catching the eye of Blues boss Antonio Conte in the process.

Dries Mertens held transfer talks with Chelsea before penning a new Napoli deal

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Dries Mertens held transfer talks with Chelsea before penning a new Napoli deal

Mertens scored an incredible 28 Serie A goals from 28 starts in his first campaign as Napoli’s main striker.

And Chelsea were keen to complete a deal for the ex-PSV Eindhoven ace after storming to the Premier League title.

But Mertens instead opted to pen a new three-year contract, with Napoli also retaining the services of fellow key man Lorenzo Insigne.

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Mertens scored 28 goals in 28 Serie A starts this season

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Mertens scored 28 goals in 28 Serie A starts this season

However, Mertens insists the insertion of a buyout clause does not mean he intends on departing soon.

The 30-year-old told Sky Sports: “Yes there was interest [from Chelsea], and from other clubs also, but in my head there was never an intention to change clubs.

Mertens' deal includes a release clause but he has no plans to leave Napoli

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Mertens' deal includes a release clause but he has no plans to leave Napoli

“This season was really good. I am going to try and be even better next year.

“Yes there is a buyout clause. But I’m happy at Napoli and I want to stay. I really like Italy. I am good there and they treat me good.”

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