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Mauricio Pochettino’s thoughts on Mason Mount reflect badly on Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino’s firm stance on the future of Mason Mount highlights just how badly Chelsea have handled the 24-year-old’s contract situation at Stamford Bridge over the last few months. Mount is widely expected to leave west London between now and the start of next season, with Manchester United said to be among the clubs keen on snapping him up in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Mount will be out of contract at Chelsea in the summer of 2024 as things stand, leaving the Blues with a dilemma over whether to sell him this summer or risk losing him on a free transfer in a year’s time. Discussions over the possibility of an extension have reportedly taken place behind closed doors in recent months, although talks are seemingly at an impasse with neither party willing to budge.

It seems likely that Mount will leave Stamford Bridge in search of a new challenge this summer as a result, but Pochettino is thought to be eager to keep the England midfielder in his squad for next season and beyond. The Argentine boss has demanded that Mount is tied down to a new and improved deal before the new campaign gets underway and values him as an integral part of the team, according to football.london.

The report also claims that Mount was optimistic that a contract would be agreed before the start of last year’s World Cup, although Chelsea’s poor handling of the situation has led to a summer move away emerging as the most likely course of action. Their offer of a new deal was said to have been retracted after the end of the tournament in Qatar before they returned with a one-year proposal in January, which Mount had no interest in signing as a result of his desire to reach a longer-term agreement.

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Pochettino is far from the only Chelsea manager to have had nothing but good things to say about Mount over the last few years, with Thomas Tuchel and Frank Lampard having also lavished the Chelsea academy graduate in high praise. The former previously hailed Mount’s attitude as a key factor in shaping the success he has had at Stamford Bridge over the course of his career, including his only Champions League triumph to date back in 2021.

“It is always a pleasure to work with Mason because he is the kind of guy who comes with a smile on his face to every single training session,” said Tuchel in March of last year. “It is always 100 per cent in matches, he accepts every challenge and that is why it is so nice to work with him.

“He is full of quality and he has a blue heart. Mason loves the club, he loves Chelsea, that is how he plays and that is why he has our full support. He is always switched on and ready to push himself to the limit and that is the foundation as to why he gets our full support, because he deserves it.”

Lampard, meanwhile, hit back at Mount’s critics earlier this year by insisting that he remains one of Chelsea’s best players in spite of the club’s lacklustre form in the Premier League in recent months.

“I’m not going to tell anyone what opinion they should have on football but if anyone thinks Mason Mount is not already a top-level player then I’m not sure what they’re seeing, in my opinion,” he said. “Form is one thing that people can debate. There’s players now that get debated about more than we were in my career, it’s partly social media.

“But from working with Mason, you can ask myself, you can ask Thomas Tuchel, you can ask Gareth Southgate, you can ask Graham Potter, it’s clear he’s a top player. He’s a top player and a top lad and he does have a big affiliation with the club.

“One thing I know about Mason, the first thing a top player should have is a real hunger to succeed and play and do well for Chelsea, and he’s had that since the first day I took him to Derby. That’s simple for me. He’s still a young player, he can go even further but he’s already a top player.”

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