Chelsea have hit a ‘stalemate’ in contract negotiations with midfielder Mason Mount, according to a report.
Mount has been at Chelsea since the age of six and now has 181 appearances for their first team.
He enjoyed fruitful loan spells with Vitesse and Derby County between 2017 and 2019 before coming back and establishing himself as a key player for the Blues under Frank Lampard.
Chelsea were placed under a transfer embargo in Lampard’s only full season in charge, meaning the club legend relied heavily on a crop of young players including Mount.
Following his sacking in January 2021, Thomas Tuchel came in and Mount remained an important player as the Blues won the Champions League.
And with new head coach Graham Potter in charge, the England midfielder has started every game in the Premier League.
Always utilised due to his work rate and tactical flexibility, Mount has struggled to influence games on the attacking end in recent weeks.
After a good start under Potter, the Blues have lost three consecutive Premier League games and are without a domestic win in their last six encounters.
Mount’s only goal contributions in the league this season came in consecutive matches when he assisted twice against Wolves before scoring a brace away to Aston Villa.
Chelsea are eager to agree fresh terms with Mount and have opened contract discussions.
His current deal is set to expire in 19 months.
After opening discussions in the summer, there is yet to be a breakthrough.
There is still ‘work to be done’, though Mount is willing to extend his stay at his boyhood club.
With Mount three-and-a-half years into a five-year contract, Chelsea apparently have a ‘contingency’ plan should they fail to tie Mount down to a new deal.
Their back-up plan could be AS Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini or Villarreal’s Yeremy Pino.
Potter is expected to be backed in the January transfer window after Tuchel was given a £250million budget in the summer.
Mount is ‘seen as part of the future’, meaning Chelsea would much rather he penned a new deal than lose him and sign Pino or Pellegrini, although the funds are there to be spent.
Pino has been linked with a move to Arsenal and Liverpool this year.
The 20-year-old – who was included in Spain’s World Cup squad – has scored one goal in 13 La Liga matches this term.
Following Unai Emery’s Villarreal exit for Aston Villa, Pino has been linked with a move to the Villans.
The young winger apparently has an €80m release clause after penning a new long-term contract.
Pellegrini, on the other hand, is Roma captain and has scored four goals and provided seven assists in 18 matches across all competitions in 2022-23.
He helped Roma make it through their Europa League group with six goal contributions in five appearances.
According to Transfermarkt, Pellegrini is worth €45m.
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