Raheem Sterling is edging closer to a permanent switch to Chelsea after agreeing personal terms with the London club.

The 27-year-old has just one year remaining on his contract and would be Todd Boehly’s first major signing as Chelsea’s owner.

City signed Sterling from Liverpool in a £49m deal in 2015 and he went on to score 131 goals in 339 games.

It is expected the deal will be done in time for Sterling to link up with the Chelsea squad before they leave for their pre-season tour to the United States next week.

Reports made it known that the decisions with all parties have been amicable but Sterling wants a fresh challenge and was impressed by Blues manager Thomas Tuchel’s vision and the role outlined to him.

Other major clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were also interested in Sterling but the player was swayed by Chelsea’s public and privately stated desire to sign him.

City wanted Sterling to stay and he has no ill feeling towards the club or manager Pep Guardiola.

However, he views this as the most important contract of his career and wants to play a pivotal role at a club challenging for all the major honours.

Tuchel is looking to boost his attacking ranks after Romelu Lukaku rejoined Inter Milan on a season-long loan.

Since Guardiola became manager in 2016, only Sergio Aguero (124) has scored more goals for City than Sterling (120).

Sterling scored 13 goals in 30 Premier League appearances last season as he won his fourth league title, his ninth major honour in seven seasons with City.

He was left out of the starting line-up for a number of big games last season, including both Champions League semi-final legs against Real Madrid and the final day victory over Aston Villa. 

The arrival of new signings Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez plus the form of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez is set to make competition for starting places even more fierce.


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