Chelsea are ready to give Mason Mount a chance in pre-season to assess whether he's capable of challenging for a first-team place, Goal understands.
The 20-year-old midfielder has yet to feature for the Blues at first-team level but that could change, should he impress Maurizio Sarri over the summer.
Mount has spent the 2018-19 season on loan with Derby County, playing under Chelsea legend Frank Lampard as he looked to guide the Rams back to the Premier League.
The midfielder has scored nine goals and added four assists in 37 games this season, helping Derby finish sixth and make the play-offs.
And Mount’s influence continued in the semi-final against Leeds United, as he scored in the Rams' 4-2 second-leg victory over Leeds, with Lampard's side advancing to the Wembley final by a 4-3 aggregate scoreline.
That means Mount and Derby could win promotion back to the Premier League with victory over Aston Villa on May 27, but it will likely be his last game with the club regardless of the outcome.
The Blues, who face a two-window transfer ban if their appeal fails, plan to take a long look at Mount this pre-season regardless of whether Sarri remains as manager, with the Italian’s future still undecided.
Chelsea begin their pre-season on July 23 in Japan, where they will face off against Kawasaki Frontale, the 2018 champions of the J-League, at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.
With those matches in mind, Chelsea have secured Mount a Japanese visa, allowing him to be a full participant in the club’s pre-season plans.
Mount will be looking to make the next step up after working his way through the Chelsea academy, which he joined at age six.
He starred for Vitesse during a loan spell in the Eredivisie in the 2017-18 season, scoring 14 goals and adding nine assists as he helped the club secure a position in the Europa League.
A regular contributor for England at youth international levels, Mount also received an senior call-up for the Three Lions in October 2018, though he did not feature for Gareth Southgate in matches against Croatia and Spain.