Several senior Chelsea players wanted Mason Mount to stay at the club this summer amid ongoing speculation about the real reason he left the club to join rivals Manchester United.
According to Ben Jacobs, writing in his exclusive CaughtOffside column, Mount was not short of fans and supporters inside the Stamford Bridge dressing room, but it remains something of a mystery why his relationship with the Blues board fell apart.
Mount was a key player for a number of years at Chelsea, leading club legend John Terry to call on fans to go easy on him when he plays against them for Man Utd.
Terry rather intriguingly claimed he knows something that’s not been made public about Mount’s exit, and Jacobs has provided some insight into what the former England captain could mean.
Writing in today’s column on the Daily Briefing Substack, Jacobs did his best to provide both Chelsea’s perspective on Mount’s exit, as well as what the player’s side feels went wrong.
“Former Chelsea captain John Terry has suggested in the last few days that there is an ‘untold’ story to Mason Mount’s Chelsea departure,” Jacobs wrote.
“‘Mase is proper Chels through and through,’ said Terry during his one-man tour. ‘There’s always two sides to a story and I know the other side to it. I’m not going to air that but there’s another side to the story. Let’s not be too harsh on him when he comes back.’
“Chelsea’s position is that Mount wanted to leave and thus made it clear he wouldn’t sign a new long-term deal. But the Mount camp tell a slightly different story. They argue verbal talks last year with Chelsea’s owners were positive and progress had been made. Then in January, they claim goalposts moved. Chelsea’s co-sporting director Paul Winstanley took over negotiations and offered a short-term contract instead.
“Chelsea sources maintain the aim was to get Mount to extend and protect his value, buying time to ultimately find a long-term solution that suited all parties. This is again disputed by those close to Mount, who argue a lot of hard work done in late 2022 was undone almost overnight and with very little two-way conversation.
“The reality is the parties were far apart on terms and contract length and although they agreed to pick things up again at the end of the season, when Mount left for Manchester United he didn’t have a new Chelsea counter on the table to consider.
“Chelsea sources insist this was because it was clear Mount wanted to leave. The Mount side say they would have considered staying if they club made clear and formal attempts to try and keep the England midfielder.
“The saga definitely has two sides and now Mount has moved to Old Trafford we may never know the truth. Chelsea will always say they sold a player who wanted a new challenge that was right for him and his family, and Mount can’t really state he would have preferred to stay at Stamford Bridge now that he’s a Manchester United player.
“So both sides have to just move on. And it’s worth pointing out there’s still great respect for Mount at Chelsea, and several senior players desperately wanted him to stay.”