Manchester United are keen to get as much of their business as possible done early this summer, with a deal for Mason Mount tipped to be their first foray.
The Chelsea midfielder is widely reported to have been the subject of a £50m bid from The Red Devils after personal terms with the player were all but wrapped up.
But Fabrizio Romano has now cast doubt on the deal, suggesting that the huge gap in valuation between the clubs has caused United to hesitate on making a formal approach.
Man United would be happy to pay £50m for Mason Mount and are willing to negotiate over price for their top midfield target.
Chelsea, however, have no interest in sitting at the table at this stage and have made their demands clear.
“There is still no official bid from Manchester United for Mason Mount,” Romano says in his Daily Briefing on CaughtOffside.
“Chelsea don’t want to negotiate, as they have made it clear they want £80m or nothing – that’s their position. Man Utd want to pay a lot less than this, and so there is a big gap.
“Let’s see if things change as Mount is keen on the move, but at the moment Chelsea’s stance is a big issue.”
Romano himself has previously stated that Chelsea’s asking price is around €80m – or £70m – so it is as yet unclear if the gap in valuation stands at £20m or £30m, but in any case it represents a significant stumbling block for the deal.
Mason Mount is out of contract in twelve month’s time and appeared to be saying his goodbyes at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s last match of the season against Newcastle United.
He looks certain to leave his boyhood club and Manchester United still appear to be the most likely destination, with the player set on a move to Old Trafford.
But if Chelsea really are intent on digging in their heels over the price, Erik ten Hag may be forced to look elsewhere, with other midfielders looking to move this summer.
At the very least, it would appear that the chances of seeing this deal wrapped up quickly are far more slim than originally thought.