Raheem Sterling has agreed personal terms with Chelsea and confirmation of his move from Manchester City is now imminent.
The England international headed a shortlist of Thomas Tuchel’s attacking targets and had entered the final year of his contract with City, who are grateful for his service and will not obstruct his desire for greater minutes and status elsewhere.
Pep Guardiola has repeatedly stated “I don’t like to keep players that are unhappy” and was open to allowing Sterling’s exit this summer, even to a Premier League rival, on condition that an acceptable bid in the region of £50m is tabled.
Tuchel was desperate to add a decisive edge in the final third to cure Chelsea’s goalscoring issues and new Blues owner Todd Boehly had been in touch with City to discuss figures and the structure of a deal.
Sterling would offer Tuchel a guaranteed threat – he has directly contributed a combined 165 goals in the division in 320 appearances for Liverpool and City – as well as tactical flexibility and experience.
The 27-year-old believes he is in the decisive phase of his career and wants to make a significant contribution on and off the pitch.
The fact that City can cede two attackers to members of the ‘Big Six’ – Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal for £45m and Sterling to Stamford Bridge – without trepidation is a sign of their solid recruitment and the gap that exists between the clubs.
Intra-league transfers at the top end of the table are set to become more common as European teams struggle to financially compete with their English counterparts. – Sky Sports