The major Man Utd £60m transfer heist could come back to haunt rivals this summer

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Manchester United look to be closing in on a key signing, and it’s one that could come back to haunt a key Premier League rival.

Now, this... This would be a coup. According to the latest mutterings from the ether, Manchester United have agreed personal terms with Mason Mount, and are expected to win the race to sign the Chelsea midfielder this summer. A fee of around £60 million is being touted, and all being well, the England international will arrive at Old Trafford in a flurry of fanfare fit for an envoy from Jupiter. If his announcement video doesn’t massively eclipse the time that the Red Devils dressed Alexis Sanchez up in a full kit and made him hammer away at a baby grand like a gym freak Liberace, I for one will be sorely disappointed.

Quite how we’ve ended up here remains a tad mystifying. Mount is a Cobham boy, born and bred, and the prospect of him being openly allowed to leave the club - for a top six rival, no less - would have been all but unimaginable even a couple of short years ago. Then again, a lot has changed in the time since. For one thing, Todd Boehly’s arrival at Stamford Bridge has brought with it the kind of chaotic air usually reserved for American workplace sitcoms as they run out of steam in their final few seasons. For another, Mount himself has endured a dip in form that has left him far from secure in his first team credentials.

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Mason Mount celebrates a goal being scored for ChelseaMason Mount celebrates a goal being scored for Chelsea
Mason Mount celebrates a goal being scored for Chelsea

Throw into the mix a contract wrangle that has descended into excruciating stagnation and a reluctance to lose such a valuable asset on a free transfer next summer, and suddenly you have all the ingredients for an unexpected blockbuster of a raid.

Regardless of all those factors, however, this still has the distinct feeling of a sale that Chelsea could come to regret. Players like Mount don’t lose their touch permanently. There is a reason why - alongside United - the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal have also been linked with prospective bids in recent weeks. Like Mohamed Salah or Kevin De Bruyne before him, there is nothing to suggest that the 24-year-old isn’t capable of moving away from West London and continuing an upwards trajectory in his career. The real difference is that Mount has already shown his quality on a consistent basis in a Chelsea shirt.

Of course, United won’t care so much about the impact Mount’s departure will have on the club he’s leaving behind. Instead, they will be rubbing their hands with glee - and perhaps their eyes with disbelief - that they are on the cusp of luring a player of his obvious pedigree away from such an ambitious Premier League adversary. Nothing is concrete just yet, but if they pull this off, it could prove to be one of the heists of the summer.

As for Mount, a penny for his thoughts right now. Does he really want to leave his boyhood club, or is he stuck between a pressed exit and an untenable situation? We may never know for sure, but it is fascinating to think that he has potentially seen something in Erik ten Hag’s project at Old Trafford that he hasn’t at the Emirates or Anfield. The next step, should his transfer be confirmed, is to help it come to fruition.

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