Mason Mount is reportedly ‘leaning’ towards a move to Manchester United and Chelsea icon Andy Townsend is ‘staggered’ to learn that the Stamford Bridge ace could be on his way to a Premier League rival.

It certainly doesn’t reflect well on Chelsea – a club who have endured a traumatic season both on and off the pitch – that one of their homegrown, dyed in the wool, cut-him-and-he-bleeds-blue academy graduates now appears to feel as if his development would be served with a move to another top-flight club.

Mason Mount will be a free-agent in 2024. He’s already turned down the chance to extend his contract. Manchester United could now take full advantage; The Athletic suggesting that the Liverpool and Arsenal target would prefer to end up at Old Trafford instead, with Erik ten Hag’s side putting plans in place for a £55 million offer (The Mail).

And while Mount – like everyone at Stamford Bridge – has endured a season to forget, Townsend feels that Man United could be getting a bargain if the Champions League-winning England international moves to Old Trafford for a fee in the £50 – £60 million bracket.

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Chelsea’s Mason Mount keen on Manchester United move

“I am staggered with the way its gone for Mason Mount at Chelsea,” Townsend tells talkSPORT (25 May, 9.50am).

“I have no doubt that he will prove to be – wherever he goes – an outstanding player. He is aggressive, he wants to get across the pitch, he wants to make a name for himself. He’s all the boxes you want him to tick.

“He might have a had time when confidence went down, he’s had injuries. (But) everybody has that.

“Is that boy made of the right stuff for Cheslea? Yes he is! I would be staggered (if they let him go). I am seeing fees of £50 – £60 million, and I think anyone who buys him for that is getting quite a player.”

The prospect of Mount becoming one of Manchester United’s marquee signings – during a summer which could prove to be make-or-break for Ten Hag’s hopes of serious success at Old Trafford – may have raised eyebrows.

But it is worth remembering that, as recently as 2021/22, Mount scored 13 goals and set up 16 more from central midfield. If he can rediscover his best form, the 24-year-old will ease the creative burden on the overworked Bruno Fernandes, while giving United a younger, more energetic alternative to Christian Eriksen in that left-sided central midfield role.

Manchester United, meanwhile, face Mount’s Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday night. Avoid defeat, and Champions League qualification will be secured at last.

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