Erik ten Hag wants Mount to add dynamism and creativity to his midfield and it is an indication of the club’s intentions this summer that they have moved quickly to start negotiations.
Having held talks with Mount’s representatives recently, the Red Devils have ascertained that Mount is keen on a move to Old Trafford and have an agreement on his personal terms.
But there is still a considerable difference in valuation between Chelsea and Manchester United, who have stolen a march on rivals for his signing including Liverpool and Arsenal.
Mount is valued at more than £60m by Chelsea despite having just a year left on his contract. Attempts to broker a new deal – which, as i revealed last year, have been ongoing for 12 months – have reached a dead end and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy are prepared to listen to offers.
Mount, too, is understood to believe that a fresh start would be for the best. He has been assessing options and has taken a methodical view of his future, identifying Manchester United as a club on the rise who can offer him a chance to cement his starting role for England.
Manchester United are also assessing striker targets, having assembled a list of alternatives to Harry Kane.
Roma’s Tammy Abraham is one option who has been monitored all season and is available this summer for £67m.
Atalanta and Denmark forward Rasmus Hojlund has emerged as a priority target. The 20-year-old scored eight goals in Serie A this season and is viewed as a player with huge potential.
The recruitment activity illustrates that Manchester United are proceeding with transfer plans despite the continued uncertainty and inactivity around the takeover.
There have been fears that the Glazers’ indecision around the future of the club might hit summer plans at Old Trafford.
But the word in recruitment circles is that Manchester United have begun making enquiries and are speaking to executives and agents about potential targets.
Sources close to the interested parties have indicated that they are still waiting for Raine group to contact them.
It is more than a fortnight since Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Al-Thani made a fresh bid for 100 per cent control of the club and a source told i that “it will all come down to whether the Glazers will sell”.