Raheem Sterling is set to become Thomas Tuchel’s first incoming transfer of the summer ahead of Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the USA. The England international has agreed personal terms on a contract that will see the winger earn in excess of the £ 300,00 per week he commanded at Manchester City.
The clubs are said to be close to agreeing a deal in the region of £45 million with up to £10 million in add-ons, as the Blues attempt to wrap up the transfer in time for Sterling to join them during their Los Angeles training camp ahead of friendlies against Club America, Charlotte and Arsenal.
With less than a month until the Premier League gets back underway, having further new signings for the full pre-season, following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, certainly wouldn’t have gone amiss. With days until Tuchel and co find themselves across the Atlantic, that may not be possible but there remain irons in the fire.
The Blues’ priorities heading into the pre-season remain getting Sterling over the line and signing a defender. Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake and Jules Kounde have all been on the shortlist.
NS Sports understands that discussions between Chelsea and Manchester City are at an advanced stage. This follows an intial significant difference in valuation and Pep Guardiola’s intention to have a replacement in his squad before allowing the departure.
Juventus defender de Ligt’s move could also be a slow one to make headway in, with Bayern Munich’s interest ensuring a large fee will be commanded. The Blues have held talks with the Serie A side but have yet to make a bid.
Interest in Kounde had gone quiet with attention turned to De Ligt, but with Marina Granovskaia initially driving the deal, personal terms are already said to have been agreed. It remains a deal that Chelsea could return to.
While clubs often have priorities, the transfer window does not allow deals to fall in the way you hope. The prospect of Raphinha can not yet be ruled out, and in some respects, it’s furthest down the line. Chelsea have an agreement in place with Leeds United for £55 million, with progress slowed due to the Brazilian’s preference for a move to Barcelona.