Premier League • England

Two MLS clubs cited as Chelsea prepare to sell divisive England international

Chelsea stars Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling

Chelsea intend to sell Raheem Sterling this summer and two marquee MLS sides have been named as contenders to snap up the under-fire winger.

Sterling, 29, has become a lightning rod for criticism in what’s been another dismal campaign for the Blues. Sterling is by no means alone in struggling in a Chelsea shirt this season, though as one of the older and more established signings made in the Todd Boehly era, big things were expected.

However, Sterling’s fortunes at Chelsea were summed up in their 4-2 victory over Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-finals last weekend.

Sterling appeared to grab the ball from regular penalty take Cole Palmer after the Blues were awarded a spot-kick.

Palmer had scored five from five from the spot this season and with Chelsea holding a slender one-goal advantage at the time, it was no time to take chances.

Nonetheless, Sterling took responsibility and produced a tame effort that was repelled by Foxes stopper Jakub Stolarczyk.

A similar incident occurred later in the contest when Sterling blazed a free-kick high and wide. Palmer was stood over the ball too, but it was Sterling who stepped up.

The dreadful free-kick attempt prompted heavy boos from the home crowd. Sterling was also jeered by sections of the fanbase upon being substituted for Noni Madueke late on, though was applauded for his efforts by others.

It was a low-point in Sterling’s Chelsea career and according to both HITC and Football Insider, Sterling will be sold this summer before things get any worse.

Interest from Saudi Arabia is strong, though per the Evening Standard, Sterling has zero intention of moving to the middle east.

They stated Sterling is determined to stay in west London and make a success of his Chelsea stint. However, a compromise could be made in the form of a transfer to America and Major League Soccer instead.

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MLS keen on Sterling; prior comments offer clue

According to a fresh update from HITC, MLS hold a genuine interest in luring Sterling across the Atlantic.

Such a move may appeal to Sterling who previously signalled his intention back in 2019 to one day play in America.

“English football has grown massively over here,” Sterling told the Wall Street Journal conference. “It wasn’t like that in the past, and it’ll continue to get bigger.

“I was surprised even just popping out to the shops and being recognised by one or two people. I didn’t expect that over here.

“This is a country I would, one day, love to be able to come to. Your weather is a lot better than ours. Hopefully one day I can have my family over here.

“For sure, it [MLS] is growing in the UK, and people are really taking it in and want to come over. Hopefully I will have a career here as well.”

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Any MLS side acquiring Sterling would no doubt have to register him as a ‘designated player.’

HITC concluded by mentioning two of the higher profile MLS sides who currently have openings in the designated player quota – Los Angeles FC and the New York Red Bulls.

It also emerged earlier on Tuesday that LAFC hold an interest in former Chelsea striker, Olivier Giroud. Giroud is out of contract at AC Milan this summer.

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