Raheem Sterling is on the verge of a £45m-plus move to Chelsea after agreeing personal terms that will make him their highest earner, claim reports.
Talk over a move to the capital has raged on for the last month, but a deal is now expected to be agreed between the clubs.
The media have been briefed by sources close to the deal and Sterling with the BBC reporting a deal “is expected” in time for Sterling to link up with the Chelsea squad before they leave for their pre-season tour at the weekend.
The Telegraph claim the two clubs could come to an agreement with the next 24 hours.
The two clubs are yet to agree a fee, but ESPN report the deal will be around £45m up front with £5m in add-ons.
Sterling only has one year left on his contract and the departure is said to be amicable.
Sky Sports report that talks with Sterling’s entourage have been “transparent and respectful”. And Pep Guardiola has respected Sterling’s desire for greater playing time after seven years of service.
The England man was left out of a number of key games for City last season that left Sterling frustrated.
Sterling the main man
Sterling is believed to have been impressed with Thomas Tuchel’s vision for his role and the team. And Todd Boehly has agreed to make Sterling the club’s highest earner, as per ESPN.
That means that Sterling’s salary will top the £290,000 a week which is currently paid to N’Golo Kante.
The 27-year-old also attracted interest from Real Madrid. But after talks with Chelsea and Tuchel, Sterling was convinced Stamford Bridge was the place to kick-start his career.
After the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, Tuchel is expected to build his forward line around Sterling.
Sterling scored 13 goals in 30 Premier League appearances last season. He also won his fourth league title and his ninth major honour at The Etihad.
Signed from Liverpool for £49m in 2015, Sterling has scored 131 goals and provided 94 assists in 337 games for City.