The summer transfer window is underway and Manchester United’s first formal bid has been made, with Mason Mount its subject.
The Telegraph claims that a £40m offer has been submitted, but while personal terms with the player are thought to be no issue for the deal to go through, United’s bid is substantially lower than Chelsea’s reported asking price, and the opening offer has been rejected.
As reported by The Peoples Person, Chelsea are demanding £70m for their academy graduate, with some journalists claiming that they also want an additional £10m in performance-related add-ons.
With United having a number of positions in need of reinforcement and a limited budget with which to retool Erik ten Hag’s squad, a deal at that price point looks highly unlikely.
That had led to some suggestions that The Red Devils could move onto other targets, in an effort to outfit the squad with extra quality ahead of preseason.
But according to The Telegraph, Man United are confident that they will secure the signing of Mount, and are happy to play the long game to do so if needs must.
Chelsea would like to renew the player’s contract, but United are confident that Mason Mount will reject any attempts from his current employer to do so. The player has already rejected two offers to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge and has made it cleaer that his desire is to join United.
With his current deal expiring in twelve months, this puts them in an awkward position, in which they are at risk of losing the 24-year-old on a free transfer next summer.
Manchester United appear happy to let this play out through the current transfer window, convinced as they are that Chelsea will be forced to lower their price, although clearly they are not yet ready to do business at £40m.
Nevertheless, respected journalist Sam Pilger has suggested that this opening offer is merely part of a process that will eventually end with Chelsea agreeing to sell Mount for “just north of £50m”, a result Manchester United would certainly be happy with.
The overall strategy does make good sense in financial terms for United, given that their budget needs to be used wisely this summer. But there is no doubting that Erik ten Hag would much rather have more time to work with any incoming signings during preseason in order to integrate them into the squad more smoothly next season.
With the Dutchman seemingly determined to land Mason Mount rather than look elsewhere for a player of a similar profile, this looks more and more like a story to rumble on than reach a swift conclusion, as had initially been expected.
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