Chelsea will try to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City on the condition that they can offload Romelu Lukaku first, according to a report.
Sterling is about to enter the final year of his contract with Manchester City. He could therefore be considering his options, which will certainly be the case for Chelsea counterpart Lukaku.
The Belgian forward endured a difficult first season back at Stamford Bridge following his return from Inter Milan. Now, he wants to retrace his steps and head back to Italy.
If that move can go through, then Chelsea will make a move for Sterling, according to the Mirror.
An interest has been lingering for the England international. It seems like something that Chelsea could firm up if they can clear Lukaku’s space first.
Of course, the pair are not directly comparable players. Lukaku is a centre-forward, while Sterling is a winger. Yet the former Liverpool star could add to Thomas Tuchel’s options in the final third.
Several strikers have struggled for Chelsea, such as Lukaku and Timo Werner, in recent years. Tuchel has instead preferred to use attacking midfielder Kai Havertz as his focal point.
Therefore, he would be interested in adding Sterling to his ranks to increase their flexibility up front.
Further talks between Chelsea and Inter for Lukaku will take place on Sunday. Hence, the Sterling saga could accelerate quickly after that.
Although the 27-year-old has indicated a desire to play abroad, he would also be willing to consider a return to his London roots. Chelsea could provide him with that platform.
Dembele also open to Chelsea move
Meanwhile, another option for Chelsea would be to reunite Tuchel with his former Borussia Dortmund player, Ousmane Dembele.
The Frenchman is out of contract with Barcelona at the end of this month. Although he has remained open to staying with the La Liga outfit, he is running out of time there.
Chelsea are one of the only other clubs in the running for Dembele. In fact, The Sun claim he is willing to join the Blues, but only if he is guaranteed a regular role.
Dembele would not want to be restricted to being a benchwarmer at Stamford Bridge. He has found himself frustrated for similar reasons at Barcelona.
Would Sterling or Dembele be better for Chelsea?
There are beneficial aspects of either target for Chelsea. In Sterling’s case, the vast amount of Premier League experience he has built up would set him up well for an instant impact.
As for Dembele, his prior association with Tuchel would also give him a chance to hit the ground running.
Raheem Sterling to Chelsea makes sense
Raheem Sterling has been linked with a move to Chelsea.
They are both at a good stage of their career, too; Sterling is 27 and Dembele is 25. Hence, Chelsea could get a prime spell of form out of either of them.
Perhaps Sterling would be a safer option given that Dembele has encountered injury issues during his time with Barcelona. What’s more, the City man knows what it takes to compete in the Premier League.
That said, there is no guarantee how long they would have him for if he still has his eyes on a move abroad at some stage. Besides, Dembele is of a high level too.
Hence, there are plenty of pros and cons for either player that Chelsea will have to weigh up.