CHELSEA have made their opening move to land Raheem Sterling after new owner Todd Boehly made contact with Manchester City.
And the west London club are ready to back that up by making a formal bid of around £50million in the next few days.
City were ready to offer Sterling, 27, a new deal to replace his current deal, which has less than 12 months to run.
However, the Englishman is believed to be concerned about the amount of playing time he will get at Etihad next season.
And instead of waiting to leave as a free agent in the summer of 2023, he now wants to play more regularly with the first-team, especially with the World Cup looming.
Despite Gabriel Jesus being on the verge of departure, City boss Pep Guardiola has added two strikers to his squad in Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.
Plus Sterling didn’t start key games against Real Madrid or the Prem title decider against Aston Villa.
Relations between Sterling and his boss at Etihad became strained in spring 2021 in the weeks following a derby defeat by Manchester United.
The couple reconciled that fall and he played a key role in a fourth Prem title in five years for City.
However, he hasn’t received the reassurances we were looking for to persuade him to devote his long-term future to his current club.
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City will be looking for more than the £45m they accepted from Arsenal for Jesus – a move that is nearing completion.
However, Guardiola has always said he won’t keep players who want to leave against their will.
And the Etihad hierarchy are unlikely to keep him against his will if their assessment of the forward is met – especially as they are set to lose him for nothing next season.
Sterling, who joined from Liverpool in 2015 for £49million and has scored 131 goals in 339 games – winning four Prem titles and five domestic trophies.
If Chelsea land their man, they could soon follow suit by bidding for Everton striker Richarlison.
Tottenham are eyeing the former Watford ace but the Blues stars are hoping the Brazilian opts for a move to Stamford Bridge instead.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5652712/raheem-sterling-chelsea-transfer-bid-man-city/ Chelsea owner Todd Boehly makes contact with Man City as Blues prepare £50m transfer offer for Raheem Sterling