Manchester United have hit a stumbling block in their pursuit of Mason Mount with Chelsea unwilling to drop their asking price.
The Blues have slapped a £55m price tag on the midfielder, who is also of interest to Liverpool and Arsenal. United are currently his preferred destination but negotiations over any transfer could rest on his value with Chelsea set to stand firm despite his contract situation.
Mount has been in discussions with the West London club for much of the year but no agreement has been struck as he enters the final 12 months of his deal. United have several areas they want to strengthen, but may be against paying more than £50m for a player who could be available for nothing in a year.
The England midfielder believes a switch to the red half of Manchester would suit him, as per the Independent. Erik ten Hag has laid out his plans for Mount and how he would fit into their system, which has appealed.
United though remain unsure of their summer transfer budget, which is likely to depend on who is running the club following the drawn out takeover saga that has hampered their plans. A new striker is on their shortlist and could cost them a hefty fee with Harry Kane on their radar.
That could limit the funds they have available to pursue Mount, whom Chelsea want to keep, but have so far been unable to convince. Mauricio Pochettino is inbound at Stamford Bridge and wants to make the 24-year-old part of his plans, which could yet re-open the dialogue about a new deal.
Mount has helped the Blues claim Champions League glory since coming through the club’s academy and remains a highly regarded figure. Frank Lampard, who gave Mount his Chelsea debut, has been in interim charge and has confessed that the player could move on amid the continued uncertainty.
He said: “I think with Mason particularly, as an individual, I don’t know what the solution is going to be because it’s a club and Mason issue. I don’t know exactly where Mason is at personally. He’s got a year left on his contract. I know he’s held in high regard at the club and I know the club are doing what they can to make him stay.
“But I think also with Mason, I’d never want to stand here and talk in the modern day about what a player should do, because they’ll see it all with their own eyes. In the old days, it was, ‘why are you leaving the club?’ In the modern day, players move on. It’s a shame we’ve got into a situation where it looks like it’s happening maybe now’.”