Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures
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Raheem Sterling has changed his stance on preferring a move abroad if he leaves Manchester City amid speculation about a blockbuster transfer to Chelsea, according to reports. It had previously been rumoured that the forward wished to test himself in another country, with Real Madrid a possible destination.
But that position has now apparently changed amid interest from Premier League side Chelsea. Sterling finds himself in a quandary at City due to the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, and could find game time harder to come by under Pep Guardiola next season.
Sterling has been linked with a move from City for the last 18 months but interest in the England ace has accelerated this summer. Chelsea – fresh from their takeover by Todd Bohely’s consortium – apparently lead the race.
According to the Mirror, the 27-year-old previously desired to test himself in a foreign league. Real Madrid have been loosely linked with a move in the past and Spain was apparently the player’s preferred destination.
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However, Sterling – who is valued at around £50m – has since been convinced by the prospect of joining another Premier League club.. Thomas Tuchel could offer more game time than Sterling has received at City.
The former Liverpool star made 30 Premier League appearances last season but only 23 of those were starts. He often found himself behind the likes of Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish in Guardiola’s pecking order, and was a substitute for both Champions League semi-final legs against Real Madrid.
The arrivals of attacking duo Haaland and Alvarez ahead of next season could further limit Sterling’s game time at the Etihad Stadium. That is largely why the 77-times Three Lions man has stalled on a new contract with the Premier League champions.
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Sterling would be guaranteed more game time at Chelsea, especially if the Blues finally move Romelu Lukaku out of Stamford Bridge. The Belgian is expected to re-join Inter Milan on loan, although there remains some haggling from both sides over a fee.
Lukaku was a £98m signing at Chelsea last summer but managed just eight top-flight goals, leaving head coach Tuchel preferring Kai Havertz as a more mobile No.9. The 29-year-old revealed last December that he wished to return to the Italian outfit, with whom he starred in their 2020-21 Serie A-winning campaign.
Sterling is not the only City star heading for the exit, with Guardiola keen to shift players who do not want to play for the club. Fellow forward Gabriel Jesus is also expected to leave, with Arsenal reportedly interested in a move.
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