Mason Mount could play a key role in Chelsea signing either or both of England midfield duo Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips in the summer transfer window.
The pair have been linked with a move to the Blues come the end of the season, with Thomas Tuchel reportedly keen on bolstering his central ranks for the future.
The reports come amid uncertainty over the future of the Chelsea midfield, with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante having just 18 months remaining on their current contracts and entering their early 30s.
Should the pair leave in 2023, that leaves Mateo Kovacic as the only current starting player left in midfield, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Conor Gallagher yet to break into the side on a consistent basis.
The predicament leaves Tuchel with potentially few options, meaning a view to sign players for both the current side and the future could be on the cards.
West Ham United’s Declan Rice has long been a reported transfer target of the Blues, with his impressive rise at the Hammers making many sit up and take notice.
The 23-year-old was a former player at the Cobham academy before he was released and picked up by the Irons. He has since gone on to be a leader for both club and country, with plenty more to come.
The same can be said of Leeds and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who has been with the club since the Championship days.
According to 90Min, the Blues are monitoring the 26-year-old, who is yet to hold contract talks with Leeds over a new contract, with his current deal expiring in 2024.
It isn’t only Tuchel who has his eye on Phillips though, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal also linked.
The Blues could have a secret weapon in beating other clubs to signing the duo though, with a number of players in the international set-up able to convince the pair to make the switch.
Mason Mount, in particular, could be a big asset to the mission, with the 23-year-old famously close to Rice outside of the England camp.
Both played in the Blues’ academy growing up, staying in touch and often found close to one another for both England and off-the-pitch.
It may take little convincing to offer someone the chance to play with their best friend, let alone for the European Champions too.
The likes of Ben Chilwell and Reece James could help too, convincing the pair of why making the switch to Chelsea may be a good thing.
Familiarity and having players they know may help make that decision to move just that little bit easier.
Players talk in international camps about transfers and ask questions about moves, with the Jadon Sancho to Manchester United saga proving just that in a number of reports claiming he had asked fellow England teammates about the club.
Rice and Phillips have already proved they work well together in their performances for the Three Lions, meaning it may take little to no time to gel in the middle of the park.
The pair making the switch makes sense and despite a number of interested clubs elsewhere, the Blues could already have their England teammates as an advantage in landing both.