Belgian forward Dries Mertens came close to joining Chelsea but will renew his contract with Napoli instead, journalist Kristof Terreur has told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“In January when Chelsea knocked on the door, he was quite convinced,” Belgian reporter Terreur said.
“But once you are in the south of Italy, with good money and you are a god, why would you change that?
“He would come to the Premier League as a nobody and in Italy he is a star.”
Mertens, 33, became Napoli’s outright all-time top goalscorer on Saturday when his goal in the Coppa Italia semi-final win over Inter Milan moved him to 122 for the club, one clear of Marek Hamsik.
The Belgium international’s contract expires at the end of the season, but he has reportedly agreed a three-year extension despite interest from Inter Milan and Chelsea.
Terreur added that Mertens’ love of London, where he and his wife regularly go for mini-breaks, also made Chelsea’s offer attractive.
Chelsea have made attacking additions this summer, with a deal agreed for Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech, and RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner expected to follow.