Mason Mount is on the verge of joining Manchester United from Chelsea in a potential £60 million deal – after Liverpool showed an interest in the England midfielder. United have reached an agreement with Chelsea, with an initial payment of £55 million and a further £5 million in add-ons.
The Manchester Evening News understands that once Mount completes his medical next week he will sign a five-year contract at Old Trafford. Mount’s contract with Chelsea was due to expire next year and the £60 million fee was reportedly enough to deter Liverpool from entering the bidding war for the 24-year-old.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has openly expressed his admiration for Mount, who possesses both creativity and an indomitable work ethic. His versatility as a roving number 8, playing just ahead of a defensive midfielder, would suit both the Liverpool and United system.
But despite the need for midfield reinforcements at Anfield following the departures of James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Arthur Melo, Liverpool did not feel they could compete with United for Mount’s signature.
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According to The Telegraph (via the Mirror), Liverpool decided not to compete with United for Mount to avoid lengthy negotiations with Chelsea. While Chelsea were aiming to fire players by June 30 to include them in the 2022/23 bills, it was suspected that Todd Boehly and his associates wanted as many clubs as possible to take part in the battle to drive up the price – a tactic known to United as it is often used when paired with a player.
Chelsea turned down an opening bid from United before agreeing to the £55 million deal, an amount now beyond Liverpool’s financial means this season. Liverpool have signed just one contract so far this summer, signing Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for a fee of around £45 million.
Liverpool’s approach to transfers is being affected by restrictions imposed by owners Fenway Sports Group, as previously highlighted by Klopp in April when discussing Jude Bellingham.
“I’ve never understood why we’re constantly talking about things we theoretically can’t have,” said Klopp. “We can’t have six players for £100 million this summer [each], For example. That is obvious.
“You have to realize what you can do and then you have to get to work with it. How much money do we have available? Then we get to work with it. That’s the job you have to do.”
“We’re not kids. You ask a five-year-old what they want for Christmas and they say, ‘I want a Ferrari.’ You wouldn’t say “That’s a good idea.” You would say, ‘No, it’s too expensive and you can’t drive it.’ And so it is.”
Erik ten Hag and the club’s recruitment department agreed on Mount, with the United manager insisting that signing a younger midfielder should be a transfer priority this summer.
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