Manchester United are still in the market to sign Mason Mount from Premier League rivals Chelsea despite their decision not to follow up on a rejected third offer for the England international.
United lodged an offer totalling £55m including add-ons on Friday, though the Blues knocked back the bid for a third time and instead proposed a deal worth a total of £65m – £58m of which was guaranteed plus £7m in add-ons. 90min understands and has reported that United are not prepared to meet that price and are exploring alternative targets.
However, 90min has also learned that there may be a middle ground between the existing proposals for the two parties to strike a deal, despite the current £10m gap in valuations.
Chelsea would be expected to close the transfer if United hit a figure of £60m with a new offer, 90min understands, which is below their latest counter proposal and just £5m above United’s most recent bid. It’s understood that if United are to hit that figure, the Blues are likely to close the transfer. Mount has indicated his preferred destination is United if he leaves Chelsea.
United have however shown no willingness at this point to increase their offer, insisting that their rejected £55m bid was their final approach as it was made. United have cited that they feel Chelsea are adding a “United tax” to the deal, as the club have shown a habit in the past of caving in to sellers for a number of players they’ve signed.
Chelsea bought Raheem Sterling last summer for around £47.5m and are on the verge of selling Mateo Kovacic for £25m plus £5m in add-ons to Manchester City. Both players were in the final year of their respective contracts on moving and United feel Chelsea’s current valuation of Mount in context is unreasonable, given his deal is up in a year’s time.
READ MORE ABOUT THE MASON MOUNT TO MAN UTD TRANSFER SAGA
Mount’s age (24) and homegrown status however, combined with Chelsea’s sales of Kovacic, Kai Havertz to Arsenal and a number of squad players to teams in Saudi Arabia has alleviated their position in respect to Financial Fair Play. Chelsea are keen to raise money by Friday this week to attach to their books from this season.
They are, however, willing sellers given Mount’s request to leave, and feel a deal totalling £60m would be acceptable if United come back to the table. Despite the impasse in negotiations at the moment, the feeling is that the deal will eventually be concluded. If it isn’t, Mount could be reintegrated into the Chelsea first team fold under new manager Mauricio Pochettino and the Blues are expected to continue attempting to secure a contract extension.
United’s interest in Moises Caicedo has been made known but 90min understands a deal will be challenging at best, as Brighton value him in a similar bracket to Declan Rice – who could leave West Ham in the coming weeks for a fee of £100m or more.
Caicedo is contracted until 2028 and younger than Rice, who United also hold interest in but are unable to stretch to do a deal for without adding players in exchange.
United have issues with their current budget, but are also looking to sign a new first choice striker and may need to sign a new goalkeeper to replace David de Gea, who is out of contract on Friday. The uncertainty over the club’s ownership is only adding to the early difficulty with their summer transfer plans.
A contract has been offered by United to Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot, who also sees his deal expire on June 30. The Frenchman is currently weighing up an offer from the Italian side but United have made their interest known over a number of months. The player will make a decision on his next move in the coming days.
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss how much Man Utd could potentially raise from player sales this summer and who are the ones Erik ten Hag should consider moving on. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!
Come and join us in Las Vegas from July 28th at United Con, the place to be for United fans to come together on their pre-season tour of the US. Visit united-con.com to book your place now.