Chelsea in 'double deal talks' that could see Raheem Sterling ally leave club

Raheem Sterling
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Raheem Sterling could be set to lose a key ally in the Chelsea dressing room with Carney Chukwuemeka potentially departing as part of a potential double deal with AC Milan alongside that also involves Romelu Lukaku.

Sterling has had a challenging time since his move from Manchester City, struggling to find his feet in Chelsea blue. However, one player who has consistently backed him is young talent Chukwuemeka, who himself only joined the Blues from Aston Villa a month after Sterling's arrival.

However, with Lukaku tipped for a summer exit from Stamford Bridge, Chukwuemeka could be included in the deal, meaning Sterling may have to bid farewell to a staunch supporter, reports the Mirror.

Lukaku has attracted attention from numerous clubs but is rumoured to be heading to AC Milan, a move that could see the ex-Aston Villa star join him in Serie A.

Multiple reports suggest Lukaku is being offered a chance to return to the league where he previously starred for both AS Roma and Inter. The Rossoneri are also reportedly interested in securing the services of Chukwuemeka, initially on a loan basis.

Chukwuemeka was quick to defend Sterling during Chelsea's FA quarter-final victory over Leicester, when the England winger was jeered by his own fans at the end of the match.

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Chukwuemeka's late goal sealed the deal for Chelsea, avoiding the need for extra-time. Reflecting on the match, he praised team-mate Raheem Sterling and said: "Raheem is an experienced player – he's had an amazing career. We know what a great footballer he is. He's contributed to goals, assists and won so many penalties for the team this season.

"It happens. He's human. Players miss chances or have an off day. We stay behind him. He still got an assist for Cole Palmer's goal. For us youngsters, especially me, he's helped us a lot since we came. He's always on at us, showing us what we can do better, what we can improve on. That's outside of football as well as in."

Carney Chukwuemeka of Chelsea
Carney Chukwuemeka struggled with injury last season -Credit:Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Despite interest from other clubs and loan offers, Chelsea are firm on keeping Chukwuemeka, citing his £40million buyout clause as a clear sign of their intentions not to sell this summer.

Yet, with the Blues' recent acquisition of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall from Leicester for £30million, the battle for a spot in Enzo Maresca's midfield is intensifying. This could potentially push Chukwuemeka out of the picture, which would mean Sterling losing a supportive young talent in the squad.