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Yalla Shoot :How Mason Mount’s Chelsea dream turned sour ahead of his £60m Man United move

With just two words and two emojis Trevoh Chalobah provided a window into one of elements attached to Mason Mount’s imminent move to Manchester United.

‘My boy,’ he posted on Twitter along with the tearful and broken heart emojis not long after confirmation Chelsea had agreed a £60m deal to sell midfielder Mount to United.

Defender Chalobah, who came through the ranks with Mount, is far from the only one of a Chelsea persuasion saddened it has come to this, relations between their academy poster boy and the club deteriorating to such an extent that he is now moving onto a rival.

The sentiments are even stronger among some of those, inside and outside of Chelsea, who have watched and helped guide Mount along the way.

Privately, he might well feel similar, but in his case any emotions mixed in with the excitement of the new challenge and fresh start ahead at Old Trafford where he looks all set to be a central figure in Erik Ten Hag’s plans.

Mason Mount - pictured at last year's Monaco Grand Prix - is on the verge of completing a £60million move from Chelsea to Man United

Mason Mount – pictured at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix – is on the verge of completing a £60million move from Chelsea to Man United

Erik ten Hag's side made the England international, who once waxed lyrical in a post-Champions League final interview about his love on Chelsea, one of their priority targets

Erik ten Hag’s side made the England international, who once waxed lyrical in a post-Champions League final interview about his love on Chelsea, one of their priority targets

Chelsea had originally planned to offer Mount a new £200k-a-week deal before the club was sanctioned and taken over by Todd Boehly

Chelsea had originally planned to offer Mount a new £200k-a-week deal before the club was sanctioned and taken over by Todd Boehly 

Mount joined Chelsea aged six and was so driven that even that young his goal to reach the club’s first team was crystal clear.

Seeing close friends like Declan Rice let go as he kept working towards his target only increased his determination to push himself to achieve his dream.

When there were concerns among his family about the lack of academy players to make it at Chelsea, Mount remained undeterred, insisting he is going nowhere.

He admits he was in pinch yourself territory when he did make Chelsea’s first team and was a future captain in the eyes of club legend and big fan Frank Lampard, who gave Mount the armband in what proved to be the final game of his first spell in charge.

That season ended with Chelsea lifting the Champions League and Mount’s voice cracked with emotion as he spoke afterwards about fulfilling his dreams of winning major trophies for his boyhood club and his desire to continue doing so.

‘Chelsea is my blood. I love this club, I love these fans,’ he said.

Yet here we are, just over a year after Mount collected his second successive Chelsea player of the year award he is now United bound, with a medical expect take place early next week.

From a Chelsea perspective, Mount’s exit is a sad ending and one that should spark questions all round about how it has been allowed to happen, how relations were allowed to breakdown with somebody who was Chelsea to the core like this.

At one stage, tying Mount down on a long-term contract was described as the easiest deal to do such is his affinity to the club and, at the outset at least, his plan was to stay something Chelsea maintain was their outcome of choice all along too.

Trevoh Chalobah expressed his disappointment that Mount, who he progressed from the academy to the first-team with, will be leaving the club

Trevoh Chalobah expressed his disappointment that Mount, who he progressed from the academy to the first-team with, will be leaving the club

Chalobah tweeted 'My boy' with sad face and broken heart emojis ahead of his friend's transfer

Chalobah tweeted ‘My boy’ with sad face and broken heart emojis ahead of his friend’s transfer

But, now, some at Stamford Bridge also can’t shake the sense that money was ultimately the motivating factor after three offers – two pre-World Cup, a one-year extension at the start of this year to buy time and the highest being over £200,000-per-week – were turned down, increasingly accompanied with the message that Mount no longer wanted to stay or sign a new deal.

From his side it was more complicated than that though doubts emerged during the process about what the efforts to resolve his future said about how much they really valued him and how integral he was really considered, especially with the club undergoing a huge transition after being taken over last summer.

That was also connected to another reason it is felt things unravelled, the situation evolving gradually rather than suddenly.

Sources close to it highlighted the impact timing, and what happened as time went on, had in leaving Mount with his contract running down and both he and the club with a decision to make.

That was the case even moreso with the new owners wanting to end the days of Chelsea’s stars running their contracts down.

Mount already started their reign in the territory they did not like, heading into the final two years of his contract.

He signed his previous deal, a five-year agreement, in July 2019 before the Covid pandemic arrived, forcing clubs to rein in their spending.

The following season ended with that Champions League triumph and a first player of the year award for Mount. 

The 24-year-old midfielder made 195 appearances for Chelsea, after graduating through their academy, prior to his move to rivals Man United

The 24-year-old midfielder made 195 appearances for Chelsea, after graduating through their academy, prior to his move to rivals Man United

During that time, he helped Chelsea clinch a Champions League trophy after success in 2021

During that time, he helped Chelsea clinch a Champions League trophy after success in 2021

Chelsea had planned to reward Mount with a new deal worth around £200,000 to reflect his development and increased status and thought they were close to an agreement until a late movement of terms led to the matter being shelved, with no rush due to the time he still had left on his deal at the time.

The next season, though, ended with Chelsea being sanctioned and an eventual change in ownership.

And what started as a situation being handled in the main by Marina Granovskaia has more recently been one for new co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart with co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali having a period as main points of contact in between.

The mid-season World Cup provided another interruption and each of those were cited as factors which contributed to the situation drifting.

Mount’s contract saga, meanwhile, has played out while he has been going through a dip, even if form is temporary, and Chelsea are trying to wrestle control of their wage bill. Again, not ideal timing.

Chelsea's sporting directors - Laurence Stewart (not pictured) and Paul Winstanley (left) - had been dealing with Mount's new contract, which never materialised

Chelsea’s sporting directors – Laurence Stewart (not pictured) and Paul Winstanley (left) – had been dealing with Mount’s new contract, which never materialised

Though it has been for the vultures who began to circle and eventually managed to turn Mount’s head and tempt him to begin contemplating the previously unthinkable – the idea of leaving Chelsea.

His admirers spotted an unexpected opportunity to land an established England international, already blessed with considerable playing and trophy-winning experience, appreciated throughout the game and with years ahead of him.

For so long it seemed like those years would only be at Chelsea.

But not anymore, following a split between Mount and his beloved Chelsea that few could have predicted not so long ago.

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