Pochettino ‘too late’ to stop Mount leaving Chelsea as cunning plan backfires

Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard reviews Forest draw

Mauricio Pochettino seems destined for a transfer headache at Chelsea as relations between the club and exit-linked star Mason Mount are reportedly at an all-time low. The incoming Blues manager is set to address the situation this summer, but it is believed that he may be too late to change the player’s mind amid links to Liverpool and Arsenal.

Much like many of his team-mates at Stamford Bridge, Mount has performed well below his usual standards this campaign as Chelsea languish in the bottom half of the Premier League. The England regular has only scored three goals this term as he approaches the final 12 months of his contract.

His previous exploits have not been forgotten by the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, however, who continue to be linked with Mount ahead of the summer transfer window. The 24-year-old has so far resisted the Blues’ efforts to secure his future via a new contract.

According to The Sun, Chelsea offered Mount a one-year extension back in February, which was rejected and viewed as nothing more than a cunning plan by the club’s hierarchy to raise his transfer fee.

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Seemingly keen for a clear route to either Anfield or the Emirates Stadium this summer, the latest contract offer has reportedly left the relationship between Mount’s representatives and Chelsea chiefs at rock bottom.

Pochettino may therefore have to plan for a future without the Blues youth product, who has scored 33 goals in 195 appearances for the club. Despite the threat of losing him for free at the end of next season, Chelsea are set to demand a hefty £60million.

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Liverpool and Arsenal are both in the market for a midfielder, and although Chelsea’s price tag will be seen as ambitious, finding a player of Mount’s quality for a smaller sum may not be possible. It remains to be seen whether the player would be willing to potentially forego Champions League football by joining the Reds, or risk jeopardising his relationship with Blues fans by signing for a cross-city rival.

Resolving Mount’s future is one of numerous major tasks facing Pochettino, who agreed terms to become Graham Potter’s permanent successor at Stamford Bridge over the weekend.

Club legend Frank Lampard will remain in temporary charge until the end of the season. The 44-year-old oversaw another troubling result on Saturday as Chelsea drew 2-2 at home to Nottingham Forest.

Although Raheem Sterling boosted his personal goals total with a brace against the Tricky Trees, Lampard has now won just one out of eight games since his interim appointment, showing Pochettino the scale of the mission ahead of him.

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