England star Mason Mount rejected a new contract at Stamford Bridge worth in excess of £200,000 a week before flying out to the World Cup, as what is viewed as a calculated gamble that could yield spectacular returns if he enjoys a successful tournament in Qatar with the eyes of the world watching.
Negotiations were hence put on hold for the duration of the international tournament, but a swift breakthrough is not expected when they resume after Christmas as the two parties are a long way apart. Understandably that chasm could widen should Mount continue to impress, as he did in England’s 6-2 trouncing of Iran.
Mount’s camp is intent on pursuing a contract similar to Raheem Sterling’s, a £300,000-a-week deal on signing from Manchester City last summer. However, Chelsea’s offers to Mount have been nowhere in that ballpark, being appreciably lower than that.
The Blues had hoped to secure a quick agreement when engaging in contract talks with Mount and Reece James in September, but whilst the latter agreed a new six-year deal worth £250,000 a week, negotiations with Mount have been met with stumbling blocks. The 23-year-old is one of the lowest-paid players in Graham Potter’s squad on around £85,000 a week, because he has not signed a contract since shortly after he returned from a loan spell at Derby three years ago, when he had yet to establish himself as a Chelsea first-team regular.
With just 18 months left on his deal, Mount’s apparent reluctance to sign is a major concern for Chelsea as that will limit his transfer value, despite interest from Liverpool and Juventus.