Mikel Arteta told Arsenal coaches transfer for Man Utd star was a ‘done deal’ | Football

Mikel Arteta thought Arsenal had won the race to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Mason Mount is hopeful of making an impact during Manchester United’s crucial run-in after an injury ravaged first season at Old Trafford.

Much was expected of the England international after Erik ten Hag won the race to sign a player who had appeared destined to spend the peak years of his career at his boyhood club.

A long-running contract wrangle with Chelsea, however, saw Mount take the difficult decision to leave Stamford Bridge and embark on a fresh challenge.

The 25-year-old wasn’t short of suitors, with both Arsenal and Liverpool registering interest in the 25-year-old midfielder.

Indeed, according to ESPN, negotiations with the Gunners were so advanced that Mikel Arteta was informing his coaches that a deal was a formality.

Ultimately, the lure of United proved too strong and after weeks of protracted negotiations, Mount moved north after Chelsea’s £55million asking price was met.

For their parts, Arsenal and Liverpool ultimately strengthened their midfields with the likes of Kai Havertz and Alexis Mac Allister, decisions that have been vindicated as the season has progressed.

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Mason Mount celebrates scoring a goal for Manchester United

Mason Mount scored his first goal for Manchester United in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Brentford (Picture: Getty)

Mount, who scored his first goal for United in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brentford, will hope there is still time left for him to provide an uplifting ending to what has been a difficult first nine months in United colours.

After picking up an injury in only his second game for the club, Mount found it hard to nail down a starting position in Ten Hag’s preferred XI upon regaining full fitness.

A further injury saw him miss 21 successive matches, but his return could provide his manager with a timely boost ahead of a crucial set of fixtures that could determine his own future at the club.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s visit to Mount’s old stomping ground, Ten Hag said of the midfielder: ‘He’s a fantastic football player but it’s important first that he is getting and keeping fit because he has had three injuries.

‘We have to do this carefully. The first objective is to keep him fit. Then he can benefit and contribute to the team like he did on Saturday when he had a big impact [scoring against Brentford].’

‘I am long enough in football to know and some of you should also understand why such things happen,’ Ten Hag added, reflecting on the 97th minute they conceded at Brentford that denied Mount his moment in the sun.

‘Sometimes you are not playing good but we are Manchester United, you have to win and you cannot give it away like we did, that was the biggest disappointment for me. We keep going.’