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The Napoli striker Sarri wants at Chelsea

Napoli striker Dries Mertens is wanted by Chelsea.

The Mirror says Maurizio Sarri wants to make Belgium World Cup goal-scorer Dries Mertens his first signing as Chelsea boss.

Sarri is closing in on the Stamford Bridge job, replacing fellow Italian Antonio Conte, and is already targeting a raid on previous club Napoli to sign the 31-year-old.

Chelsea previously baulked at meeting the £24.5million release clause for Mertens, whose cracking goal opened the scoring in Monday's win over Panama — and now that clause has expired, so he could be even more expensive.

Sarri has told pals he regards Mertens as the perfect signing to play on the right of a front three — the same role he plays for Belgium.

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Paul Vegas

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