Premier League • England

Chelsea locate Mason Mount replacement with £35m signing from London rival to make mockery of Man Utd

Joao Palhinha and Andreas Pereira of Fulham

Chelsea have begun to show an interest in a former Man Utd midfielder now standing out elsewhere in the Premier League, according to a report.

The Blues are bracing themselves for the potential departure of Mason Mount this summer. Negotiations over a new contract for their academy graduate have not been productive so far. Now, Chelsea are facing up to the prospect of losing the England international.

A report earlier on Monday reaffirmed that Liverpool are in pole position to prise Mount away. He has also been linked with other Premier League clubs, such as Man Utd.

Wherever Mount ends up, Chelsea will have to find a way to replace him. Although his form hasn’t been spectacular this season, he has still started 20 Premier League matches.

Therefore, Mount’s potential exit would leave a gap in Chelsea’s midfield. After how heavily the club have spent under Todd Boehly so far, it doesn’t seem like something they will leave unaddressed.

Indeed, a report from ESPN has now revealed that Chelsea are interested in Fulham midfielder, Andreas Pereira.

Pereira joined Fulham ahead of the current season after Man Utd finally decided to sell him. It had been two years since his last appearance for the Red Devils, who couldn’t quite find a place for him.

But Pereira has since been flourishing with Fulham, contributing six assists and two goals from 27 Premier League appearances this season.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag recently praised Pereira for how well he has done since making his move.

Yet now, Man Utd’s loss could indirectly become Chelsea’s gain if the Blues manage to buy Pereira from their west London rivals, Fulham.

Chelsea learn potential transfer costs

According to ESPN, Chelsea could do so for a fee between £25million and £35m.

In an even more ideal world, they would be able to sign him for £15m if Fulham were relegated due to a clause in his contract. However, Marco Silva’s side are in the top half of the table – one place above Chelsea, incidentally – and are not in danger of losing their Premier League status this year.

Therefore, if Chelsea want Pereira immediately, they would have to make a higher bid. But a value of up to £35m should still be within comfortable reach for them.

Fulham, for what it’s worth, have Pereira under contract until 2026 with the option of a further year.

The report hints his future could be affected if Silva was to leave as manager. Obviously, that would be against Fulham’s will – and now they may have an extra reason to fight to keep him.

Comparing Mason Mount and Andreas Pereira

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount

If Chelsea were to choose Pereira as their preferred successor to Mount, it would be an interesting move. Both are attack-minded midfielders, but who has been in better form?

The stats from this Premier League season so far show that, per 90 minutes of action, Mount has scored at a quicker rate, but Pereira has been more efficient with his assists.

The Fulham man has also created more chances on average than his Chelsea counterpart. Furthermore, his crosses have been more successful.

In Mount’s favour, though, is the fact that he has completed more forward passes and take-ons, indicating his direct approach. His shots are also slightly more accurate, while he averages more touches and has a better pass completion rate.

Hence, Mount and Pereira have some similarities and some differences in their styles. The latter has some different ways to be creative, whereas Chelsea may lose someone who is heavily involved in the construction of their attacks if Mount does depart.

But there is no particular statistic that stands out as a red flag about Pereira. Therefore, he could be a suitable replacement for Mount – three years his junior – if the prices are right.

And stepping back up to a so-called big six club, even if Chelsea are out of those positions at present, may give Pereira another chance to make Man Utd regret their decision to let him go.

For now, he must continue adding to his reputation at Fulham before he can think about his long-term future.

READ MOREChelsea, Newcastle become aware of chance to sign Tottenham tormentor with two different fixed prices