Mason Mount's future is firmly in doubt after talks over a new Chelsea contract were put on hold - and the two parties are reportedly 'a long way apart' on coming to an agreement.
The 24-year-old has less than 18 months left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, having come through the ranks, and he has since progressed into an integral first-team player. Mount last signed a new contract in July 2019 after impressing on loan with Frank Lampard at Derby but is now coming to the end of that deal.
And according to the Daily Mail, negotiations between Mount's representatives and the club were halted after the England international rejected an offer as he felt it was below what others are earning. Mount pockets £80,000-a-week at the moment - but that staggeringly doesn't even put him inside the top 20 paid players at Chelsea.
Raheem Sterling is the highest earner at the Blues with a monster £325k-per-week salary, while Kalidou Koulibaly, N'Golo Kante, Reece James and Wesley Fofana make up the top five. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Carney Chukwuemeka are also amongst those earning more than Mount despite not being regulars in the starting XI.
It is understood Mount is hoping to treble his wages to around £240k-a-week but the club are offering significantly less than they are paying the likes of expensive recruits Sterling and Fofana. Todd Boehly has spent over £600million since he took over at the west London club last summer and splashed more than half of that in January.
Argentine World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez arrived from Benfica in a British record transfer worth around £106m, after Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, David Fofana, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix and Malo Gusto all made the switch to the Blues in January.
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It took Graham Potter's first-team squad up to a mammoth 33 players, with a handful of big names having to left out of their 25-man Champions League squad. That included Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, who was also snubbed of a place in the squad to face Fulham on Friday.
However, academy graduates like Mount want to be as valued and not taken for granted given they came through the youth set-up and weren't signed for massive fees. Mount, who spent time out on loan at Vitesse and Derby at the start of his career, made his competitive debut for the Blues in a 4-0 defeat against Manchester United on the opening weekend of the 2019/20 campaign.
The Portsmouth-born midfielder became a key cog in Lampard's side as Chelsea finished inside the top four despite having a transfer embargo under their name. It mean the likes of Mount, James and Tammy Abraham were thrown straight into the side and all three impressed as they squeezed into the Champions League.
Mount grabbed seven goals and six assists in 37 league appearances during his breakthrough season, before then taking the next step in the 2020/21 behind-closed-doors campaign. He helped guide Chelsea to win the Champions League under Thomas Tuchel as he grabbed the assist for Kai Havertz's winner.
In total, Mount has scored 33 goals in 188 matches for Chelsea but has fell off the pace this season. This is despite starting almost every game since Potter was appointed in September.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Mount in recent months, with the attacking midfielder impressing in matches against Jurgen Klopp's side over the years. Meanwhile, a host of other European clubs are also keen on the player including Borussia Dortmund.