A number of leading European clubs could attempt to capitalise on the uncertainty surrounding Chelsea's future by targeting versatile academy product Mason Mount.
Mount has emerged as one of the finest midfielders-cum-attackers in the country since his breakthrough season under Frank Lampard and a transfer embargo in 2019/20.
The 23-year-old has been a consistent and balanced contributor during his time in the first team, with 29 goals and 30 assists to his name in 156 appearances to date - including 12 and 15 in respectively in all competitions this campaign.
However, with Chelsea's takeover still not resolved after current owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale before being hit with sanctions by the UK government, a number of top clubs could look to take advantage.
According to The Athletic, three leading Premier League clubs and others from overseas are 'putting plans in place' to attempt to sign the England international.
While a transfer for the academy product may seem far-fetched, Mount will only have two years remaining on his contract come the end of the season and is one of the lowest-paid members of the Chelsea squad.
The report adds that there is no guarantee Mount will sign an extension even if he is offered a massive pay rise, with it speculated that he could decide to run down his contract in search of better terms elsewhere.
Listen now to 90min's Chelsea podcast Wherever You May Be, hosted by Olivia Buzaglo. Each week, Olivia and guests Krishan Davis & Anita Abayomi talk all things blue. In our latest episode, the team discuss Antonio Rudiger's departure, Chelsea's recent form and Reece James.
It was confirmed last week that Antonio Rudiger will depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season upon the expiry of his own deal, and that is said to have had an unsettling effect on the squad.
However, a takeover is edging closer after Todd Boehly emerged as the preferred bidder for Chelsea - although Sir Jim Ratcliffe's very late bid in excess of £4bn could put the cat among the pigeons.