Manager publicly admits £55m player could be off after he’s linked with Liverpool

Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard has admitted that Liverpool target Mason Mount could be set to leave the club.

Mount has been a high profile target for the Reds ahead of the summer transfer window. As his contract stand-off with Chelsea continues, the 24-year-old looks like being on the move in the coming months

And speaking to Sky Sports before the Blues’ 4-1 loss against Manchester United last night, Lampard suggested that it looks like Mount may well be off.

“I think with Mason particularly as an individual, I don’t know what the solution’s going to be because it’s a club and Mason issue,” explained the 44-year-old. “I don’t know exactly where Mason is at personally. He’s got a year left on his contract. I know he’s held in high regard at the club and I know as well that the club are trying to do what they can to make him stay.

“But I think also with Mason, I would never want to stand here and talk in the modern day about what a player should do, because they’ll see it all with their own eyes, what’s been going on, how they feel about the pitch, what the future is for them. In the old days it would by ‘why are you leaving the club, you shouldn’t.’ But in the modern day, players move on. It’s just a shame we’ve got into this situation where it looks like it’s happening maybe now.”

Mount set for Chelsea exit
This is a startlingly open admission from Lampard. Perhaps as interim manager at Chelsea he feels he’s able to speak a little more freely than he otherwise would.

It’s also very well documented just how highly he rates Mount. Having established him as a first team player during his previous stint at the helm, he clearly feels disappointed with how things have gone and maybe wants to let that be known.

Either way, it probably doesn’t strengthen Chelsea’s hand at the negotiating table.

For now, that table looks to most prominently contain the team Lampard lost to last night – United. They are reportedly preparing a £55m offer for Mount, as Erik ten Hag makes him a top summer target.

Somewhat fancifully, Chelsea are said to be holding out for closer to £85m for their academy graduate. With admissions like this from Lampard though, who is seriously going to pay anything like that?

Liverpool certainly won’t. Although it’s been reported that despite United’s proactivity, they’re not quite out of the race for Mount just yet.

Should the fee start to creep up though, we can’t see Liverpool getting into a bidding war. Up until recently, the Reds had looked favourites to land the England international, but that has now changed. Still, he looks virtually certain to go, so there’s still a chance we see him in Liverpool red next season.