Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel makes Raheem Sterling promise as Blues prepare opening bid for Manchester City forward

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Sterling  wants to be a key player and compete for major honours as he enters his peak years  (Getty Images/Evening Standard)
Sterling wants to be a key player and compete for major honours as he enters his peak years (Getty Images/Evening Standard)

Thomas Tuchel has assured Raheem Sterling that he would be a key player at Stamford Bridge, as the England forward mulls over an approach from Chelsea.

Chelsea have opened talks with Manchester City over a deal for the 27-year-old and a formal bid is expected on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sterling, who has a year left on his £300,000-a-week contract at City, wants to be a key player and compete for major honours as he enters his peak years. Tuchel has assured him that will be the case at Chelsea. Sterling is now considering his options but is keen on the idea of a return to London.

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly is leading the talks with City, who are set to demand over £50million for Sterling.

There is a willingness on both sides to finalise a deal and talks could accelerate quickly this week if Chelsea can agree personal terms with Sterling.

Signing Sterling would be a statement of intent by the Clearlake-Boehly consortium, who want to ensure their new club closes the gap to City and Liverpool next season.

Chelsea have already watched Liverpool spend £64m on Darwin Nunez and City sign Erling Haaland for £51.2m this summer, but are now ready to make their own marquee signing.

Following the departures of director Marina Granovskaia and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech, Boehly is personally overseeing Chelsea’s transfer drive this summer. Tuchel will have more power over player recruitment and has been promised as many as six signings by the new owners.

Chelsea have already started reshaping their attack by allowing Romelu Lukaku to rejoin Inter Milan on loan, with the Belgian due to finalise his move back to Serie A this week.

Chelsea are targeting Raheem Sterling as the first marquee signing of a new era at Stamford Bridge (Getty Images/Evening Standard)
Chelsea are targeting Raheem Sterling as the first marquee signing of a new era at Stamford Bridge (Getty Images/Evening Standard)

The Blues have scouted strikers, but it is looking increasingly likely that they will replace Lukaku with wide forwards as opposed to a traditional centre-forward.

They also hold an interest in Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, Everton’s Richarlison and Leeds’ Raphinha.

Of the three, a move for Dembele appears most likely, given he will be a free agent on Friday if Barcelona cannot get him to sign a new contract by then.

As well as attack, Chelsea are looking to bolster their defence this summer. The Blues are keen on Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde and are making a move for Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.

They have also been linked with Nathan Ake in a possible double move for him and Sterling from City, as well as Inter’s Milan Skriniar.

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