Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is leaning towards a move to Manchester United and talks are expected between the two clubs in due course.
Other clubs interested in the 24-year-old are aware of his preference.
Mount’s future at Chelsea remains uncertain, with the England international’s contract due to expire at the end of next season.
A number of hurdles still must be cleared — the clubs would need to find an agreement. United are also prioritising the signing of a striker and there remains a lack of clarity over their ownership.
Incoming Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino wants Mount as part of his squad for next season, which leaves some optimism for a late development. But it might still depend on the two parties agreeing a new long-term deal, something that has not been able to be done since negotiations opened last summer.
The Athletic reported in March that Liverpool were leading the list of domestic suitors for Mount, with former Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel — now at Bayern Munich — also credited with an interest.
Liverpool, Bayern or Chelsea – what happens next with Mason Mount?
Mount is also a target for Arsenal, as Mikel Arteta seeks to bring in an option to play on the left side of his midfield trio.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League trip to United, caretaker manager Frank Lampard was asked if the Mount situation is beginning to feel like a lost cause for the west London club.
“I don’t know,” Lampard said on Wednesday. “That’s not my answer to make. That’s between Mason and the club.”
Mount is a product of the Chelsea academy and has 195 appearances for the club since his first-team debut in 2017, scoring 33 goals.
He spent two seasons out on loan at Vitesse Arnhem and Derby County between 2017 and 2019 before establishing himself as a first-team regular in Lampard’s first spell at Chelsea.
The England international has also made 36 appearances for his country and was a member of Gareth Southgate’s squads at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.
Mount has struggled with a pelvic injury towards the back end of this season and it is uncertain as to whether he will feature for Chelsea in their final game of the campaign, the home match against Newcastle United on Sunday.
Why Mount replacing Xhaka at Arsenal would make sense
Analysis by Carl Anka
Managers like Mason Mount as he is a seven-to-eight out of a ten in all of the things you want from an attacking midfielder. They love him because he is an eight-to-nine out of ten in the tasks you want your attacking midfielder to do when out of possession.
Mount’s exceptional asset is how he runs from deeper central midfield areas to lead his team’s press. Managers including Gareth Southgate and Thomas Tuchel often task him with disrupting the deepest midfielder on opposition teams, throwing a crowbar into their ability to build up play slowly.
Attacking wise he often pushes forward from starting positions on the left of a 3-4-3 or a 3-4-2-1 to become a Chelsea or England’s auxiliary playmaker. He’s a box-to-box player who can serve as a backup number 10. I often describe him as a capable member of a supporting cast rather than a charismatic lead. He’s not a star player but can have a starring role in a good team performance.
His output is well down this season, but that is true of much of the Chelsea squad currently. He operates best as a multi-use cog in an already well-functioning machine, rather than someone who can jumpstart a misfiring mechanism.
The mix of good on-ball attributes, and exceptional off-the-ball attributes are the reasons other Premier League teams are looking at him. It is possible to spend money and find a better on-ball creator than Mount. It is very difficult to spend money and find a better off-ball runner.
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