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Manchester City will not stand in Raheem Sterling’s way if he wants to leave this summer as Chelsea grow increasingly confident on landing him, according to reports.
Sterling, 27, is out of contract next summer and has yet to make a final decision on his future at the Etihad.
Several clubs have been monitoring his situation and Chelsea have made the England international a top transfer target, with the new owners eyeing him as the marquee signing of the summer following their recent £4.25 billion takeover.
Once Romelu Lukaku’s departure back to Inter Milan is confirmed, which is expected this week, Chelsea will press on with finding an attacking replacement and Sterling is at the top of the agenda.
And Chelsea have received a welcome boost, with reports suggesting City will not block an exit if a fee can be agreed.
Sterling is believed to be attracted to returning to the capital, and has already been talking to people about what life is like at Chelsea and what Thomas Tuchel is like as a manager.
Chelsea have been told they will need to pay around £60 million to prize Sterling away from City, but Ben Jacobs reports Pep Guardiola’s side could settle for around £45 million plus add-ons.
No decision has been made yet by Sterling on his Man City future but with Lukaku’s exit imminent, Chelsea will soon crank up the pressure on their pursuit as they look to wrap up a deal before the return of pre-season next month.
Tuchel is a ‘big fan’ of Sterling, who scored 17 goals and registered nine assists in all competitions last season.
Chelsea will have around £200 million to spend this summer, a budget promised by Todd Boehly and co. Sterling could be joined by Jules Kounde as Tuchel looks to rebuild his squad for a title challenge next term.
But Chelsea will have competition on their hands for players this summer and Boehly won’t spend more than what the Blues can afford within the Financial Fair Play rules.
"Financial Fair Play is starting to get some teeth and that will limit ability to acquire players at any price,” Boehly said earlier this month.
“UEFA takes it seriously and will continue to take it seriously.
"(More teeth) means financial penalties and disqualification from sporting competitions."
The co-controlling owner, who is now likely to take over as Chairman following the announcement of Bruce Buck’s departure at the end of the month, is ready to give his all to continue the winning culture at Stamford Bridge.
“We’re all in - 100 percent - every minute of every match. Our vision as owners is clear: we want to make the fans proud.
"Along with our commitment to developing the youth squad and acquiring the best talent, our plan of action is to invest in the Club for the long-term and build on Chelsea’s remarkable history of success."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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