Raheem Sterling is set to become the first major signing of the Todd Boehly era after agreeing to personal terms with Chelsea.
The England international is set to move to Stamford Bridge in a £45 million deal with Manchester City having concluded that he would be afforded a more consistent role under Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel than Pep Guardiola. Final details of the transfer must still be finalized between the two clubs and Sterling will need to undergo a medical, but he seems destined to be wearing the blue of Chelsea rather than City next season.
Sterling will depart Manchester a four-time champion of England with a record of 131 goals in 339 appearances for City, who he left Liverpool for in 2015. His current contract had been due to expire at the end of the upcoming season and he had been used more sparingly by Guardiola this season, starting only 23 Premier League games in 2021-22.
Sterling had previously expressed an interest in playing abroad, but few clubs on the continent could match City’s demands or the price Chelsea are prepared to pay for the 27-year-old. His arrival is a major statement of intent for part owner, chairman and interim sporting director Boehly, who had not yet made a major addition to Tuchel’s first team with the new season due to begin in a month.
Sterling’s arrival could accelerate Hakim Ziyech’s move to AC Milan while the Blues are also ready to consider offers for Timo Werner. Chelsea are also looking to strengthen in central defense after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona. Boehly has also held talks with super agent Jorge Mendes, who represents Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugese striker has told Manchester United that he wants to leave in pursuit of Champions League football.