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Manchester United set to sign ‘top-class’ midfielder ahead of Liverpool: report



Manchester United set to sign ‘top-class’ midfielder ahead of Liverpool: report

Manchester United have emerged as the favourites to sign Mason Mount, after it’s been revealed that the Chelsea midfielder prefers a move to Old Trafford if he leaves in the summer.

According to The Athletic, Mount is leaning towards Manchester United, with talks between the two clubs expected in the near future. Arsenal, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, who are all keen on bringing in the 24-year-old, have also been notified of Mount’s preference.

Mount’s contract at Chelsea is due to expire in 2024, but having rejected multiple new deals at Stamford Bridge, the hierarchy are looking to offload him this summer to bring in some much-needed funds.

Interim Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said Mount would sign a new contract at Chelsea “in an ideal world”, while incoming head coach Mauricio Pochettino also reportedly wants to keep the England international as part of his squad for next season.

Lampard has described Mount as a “top-class player” in the past when discussing his future, highlighting his qualities as an individual.

“I think my opinion’s pretty clear,,” Lampard said. “I don’t need to spell it out what I think of Mason as a player. There’s no doubt Mason is a top-class player through what he brings to the team in and out of possession.

“We could have done with him in the games we’ve played already this season. But the bigger picture is something that’s going to become clearer in the next weeks and months, and that will be the club and Mason together having conversations.”

Chelsea reportedly want £85 million for any potential transfer, though, creating some stumbling blocks. Manchester United are intent on bringing in a new striker as well, and also have to consider financial fair play (FFP) regulations.

With FFP considerations of their own to make, Chelsea could sell for a lot cheaper than that reported figure, though. After spending over £600 million in the past two transfer windows, the Blues need to sell players to raise cash before the deadline of June 30 to adhere to the financial regulations.

Transfermarkt values Mount at £55 million.

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Julian Ward transfer move will leave Jörg Schmadtke parting gift as Liverpool can make millions

Julian Ward’s appointment at Liverpool was supposed to herald a continuation of Michael Edwards’ excellent work. Having worked as his understudy, there were few better candidates for the role.

In many ways Ward has indeed carried on Edwards’ legacy, but there have also been some key differences. Perhaps most notably, the loan market has been utilized a lot more than it was under the old regime.

It should perhaps come as no surprise, with Ward previously enjoying the title of loan pathways manager. But Liverpool has sent out a plethora of young players on various loan spells during what will end up as a short tenure in charge of the club, with Jörg Schmadtke earmarked to take his place this summer. Many of those moves have reaped welcome rewards, with the club’s young stars catching the eye at various levels.

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One of the most successful loan spells has been that of Leighton Clarkson. The academy graduate endured a difficult spell on loan at Blackburn Rovers last season, but this season he moved to Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership and has thrived.

Last night against St. Mirren, Clarkson scored his sixth goal of the season from midfield. And with nine assists also to his name in 37 games, he has proven to be an astute signing for Aberdeen, helping them push for a European place next season.

Only 21 years old, it is unclear whether Clarkson has a future at Liverpool. Even with all the midfield departures, there are still plenty of others ahead of him in the pecking order who may prove more capable of making the step up.

However, he could still be handy for Liverpool and Schmadtke in the transfer market. His good form has undoubtedly attracted interest, especially considering Aberdeen has become renowned for producing top level talent for Europe’s top five leagues recently.

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In the last few years alone, Aberdeen has developed players like Scott McKenna — currently catching the eye at Nottingham Forest in the Premier League — Lewis Ferguson, who has been a revelation at Bologna in Serie A, and of course Liverpool’s very own Calvin Ramsay.

Clarkson looks like the next one off the production line, but this time it’s Liverpool who will stand to profit.

His market value has undoubtedly risen since his unsuccessful loan spell at Blackburn last summer. That’s all thanks to the clever maneuvering of Ward, who was able to find the right solution to revive Clarkson’s career.

Football Insider has already reported that both Rangers and Celtic would be interested in Clarkson, and the site also mentions Championship interest as well. Meanwhile, Aberdeen would be keen on taking him back.

If Liverpool can create a bidding war, FSG could stand to gain millions from a player who was looking destined for an eventual free transfer away, or else only a minimal sale. That would be good news for Schmadtke, as he looks to guide the summer rebuild.

And in this climate and market for Liverpool that’s going to be hugely important income considering every penny counts for the Reds at the moment. Schmadtke is facing a tough task, with a lot of work to do and a Europa League budget to do it with, but he might just have got a parting gift from predecessor Ward.

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