Manchester United are growing increasingly confident they will win the race for Mason Mount – but his arrival will spell bad news for one frustrated star now destined to leave Old Trafford as a direct result.
The England midfielder, 24, finds himself at something of a career crossroads at Stamford Bridge. His deal at Chelsea now has just over 12 months left to run and efforts to tie him to an extension are yet to yield a positive outcome.
And the Blues’ unwillingness to initially meet his wage demands appears likely to result in Mount’s departure. To that end, Chelsea had initially refused to meet Mount’s wishes for a deal worth £240,000 a week.
As a result, and given his dwindling contract situation, Blues co-owner Todd Boehly was willing to sanction his sale.
New manager Mauricio Pochettino, though, reportedly wanted new talks with Mount in a fresh effort to get him to stay. However, it seems the player has very much had his head turned and is now ready to take on a fresh challenge elsewhere.
Liverpool quickly emerged as favourites for Mount’s signature as exit talk at Chelsea gathered pace.
But a change of direction from the Merseysiders, together with interest from Erik ten Hag, has prompted a re-think from Mount.
Now it is Old Trafford which appears the most likely destination for Mount.
And the United manager believes a move for Mount ticks a lot of boxes for United. Able to play on the left of an attacking three, as cover for Bruno Fernandes in a No 10, or even deeper and as a partner for Casemiro, Ten Hag is ready to green light the deal.
Mason Mount in, McTominay out for Man Utd
As a result, reports of a £55m move to Old Trafford are starting to gather serious pace for Man Utd.
Desribing his relations at Chelsea at an ‘all-time low’, Mount has signalled to his agents that he prefers a move to United over all other options.
Furthermore, the Daily Express claims he is willing to make the transfer in search of more regular first-team football. And with United also able to offer Champions League football, there is a big buzz around United right now.
In addition, the paper reports that Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire have all persuaded Mount to push for the move.
However, not everyone will be happy with Mount’s prospective move to Old Trafford.
And the Express claims his move will force homegrown midfielder Scott McTominay to seek a move of his own.
The 26-year-old has made 208 appearances for the Red Devils since breaking through under Jose Mourinho in 2016/17.
However, he has been forced into an increasingly-reduced role by the signing of Casemiro. And while a January exit was rebuffed by Ten Hag, he will seemingly not stand in his way this summer.
McTominay still on Newcastle transfer radar
Now the capture of Mount will finally force the unhappy star to accept his United career is over.
McTominay remains on the radar of Newcastle and they now look ready to make a fresh push at signing the 39-times capped Scotland star.
He feels his prospects of playing more regularly would be better served at St James’ Park under Eddie Howe.
United will try and secure a £50m fee for McTominay, though Newcastle feel £40m is closer to his value. Nonetheless, the sale will suit all parties and go some way towards the fee United require for Mount.