Mason Mount’s career is at a crossroads, with several top clubs chasing his signature amid dragged contract negotiations with Chelsea.
The sought-after midfielder has around 16 months left to run on his current contract at Stamford Bridge after extension talks led by Todd Boehly fell flat.
Since the Blues are in no rush to sit back at the negotiating table, given the extraordinary circumstances inside the club, the England international could be on his way out in the summer.
According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea will be looking to cash in on their homegrown star if they fail to tie him down to a new deal before the summer transfer window.
Despite Mount’s limited playing time in 2023, there’s no shortage of high-profile domestic suitors for one of Chelsea’s headline performers in the past few years.
After being left out in the cold during the tail-end of Graham Potter’s ill-fated managerial stint at Stamford Bridge, the 24-year-old expects to return to the starting line-up against Liverpool on Tuesday night.
Potter relegated Mount to the bench in three of the last four Premier League fixtures in favour of Atletico Madrid loanee Joao Felix, which would have been unthinkable under his predecessors.
Caretaker boss Bruno Saltor seems to share Potter’s view, so Mount’s hopes of reigniting his career in west London during the Spaniard’s part-time stint look unlikely.
At this point, the English playmaker looks closer to leaving Chelsea at the end of the season than committing to a new deal, and here’s where he could go.
Liverpool will probably undergo a massive overhaul at the end of the season following an embarrassing 2022/23 campaign.
The Reds are on the lookout for a new creative midfielder after Thiago Alcantara’s injury-plagued season, with Mount emerging as one of Jurgen Klopp’s greatest desires.
Klopp, or whoever may be in charge of Liverpool over the summer, will have to address growing midfield issues at Anfield, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arthur Melo and Naby Keita are all heading towards the exit door.
To address the lack of numbers in the engine room, the Merseyside heavyweights have set their sights on the homegrown Chelsea stars – Mount and Conor Gallagher.
Mason’s father, Tony, is his son’s representative. But he has recently sought the assistance of ROOF agent Neil Fewings, who represents Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson and vice-captain Virgil van Dijk.
While it is natural to assume that this connection implies Mount could be on his way to Anfield, those familiar with the situation insist nothing’s been decided yet.
Although this comes out of thin air, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly an admirer of Mount’s qualities and could be looking to take him to Old Trafford in the summer.
Like Klopp, the Dutchman is contemplating changing the skin of his midfield department in the summer despite landing three new midfielders during his first season at the club.
While Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Marcel Sabitzer have excelled at the Theatre of Dreams, those who welcomed them there, such as Scott McTominay, Fred and Donny van de Beek, have done the opposite.
As a result, the latter three could exit Man United at the end of the season, which would leave plenty of room for new faces, one of which could be Mount.
Mount is still open to pledging his future to Chelsea, but it’s now up to the Blues to step up and show initiative.
Since the club’s priority at the moment is to sign a new permanent manager, the Englishman’s contract extension may take a back seat for the foreseeable future.
Newly-appointed Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel is keeping close tabs on proceedings and could be looking to swoop in for his protege in the summer.
But it’s hard to imagine Mount leaving his homeland, although if football has taught us anything – we should always keep an open mind.
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