Mikel Arteta 'thought Mason Mount was signing for Arsenal' before Man Utd transfer


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was reportedly convinced Mason Mount would sign for the Gunners this summer before the England international sealed his £60million switch to Manchester United from Chelsea. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder had failed to make progress with the Blues in talks over a new long-term contract and relations between the two parties began to deteriorate when Chelsea made it clear they were not willing to match the salary demands proposed by Mount's representatives.

Mount has not been short of interest and given he was rapidly approaching the final year of his Chelsea contract, it soon became clear he would be heading for the exit door this summer.

United, Liverpool and Arsenal all showed interest in the Chelsea academy graduate but Mount quickly decided that Old Trafford was his preferred destination of choice.

According to United journalist Andy Mitten, Arsenal boss Arteta was confident he would be able to land the player as he believed Mount would favour staying in London over a move to the north west.

Of course, that was not the case as Mount prioritised the prospect of teaming up with Erik ten Hag, a manager who has admired the playmaker since his time on loan in Holland with Vitesse.

Should Mount have joined Arsenal, he would have been handed the chance to team up with close friend Declan Rice who is set to join the Gunners in a British-record £105m deal.

Arsenal have also since signed Kai Havertz from Chelsea in a £67.5m package as Mount prepares to embark on his new venture with the Red Devils.

United are understood to have felt as though they stood a better chance of landing Mount this summer than their fruitless attempts to land Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona in 2022.

Ten Hag had long pursued a move for the Dutchman but his advances fell upon deaf ears as De Jong outlined his commitment to staying in Catalonia.

Now United supporters will be relishing the chance to witness a midfield trio of Mount, Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro as they gear up for the return of Champions League football.

Mount will be out to prove his worth following an underwhelming 2022/23 campaign in west London with Chelsea.

He managed just three Premier League goals and two assists in 24 top-flight outings last season.

The previous season (2021/22), the creative midfielder scored 11 Premier League goals and registered 10 assists in 32 appearances under Thomas Tuchel.

Now he will be handed the chance to wipe the slate clean as he prepares to team up with a host of his England colleagues including Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho.

Unfortunately for Mount, his move to United has left a bad taste in the mouths of the Chelsea fans he leaves behind.

His online goodbye video to Blues supporters has been met with vicious scrutiny from the fans that used to adore him.

In the video, Mount declared he feels it's the right time to move on in his career as he embarks on his fresh chapter.

"I've made the decision to leave Chelsea," the 24-year-old said during the emotional video.

"I feel you deserve more than a written statement so I wanted to tell you directly how grateful I have been for all of your support over the last 18 years.

"I know some of you won't be happy with my decision, but it's what's right for me at this moment in my career."

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