As reported by The Telegraph, Thomas Tuchel has made contact with the England international to convince him of a move to Stamford Bridge and it is believed a new offer for the 27-year-old will be submitted to Manchester City in the coming days.
Whatever you think about Sterling, his signing would have a ripple effect on the current squad. Last week we spoke about Hakim Ziyech, who is in talks with AC Milan, Timo Werner might be used as a makeweight in a deal to sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt.
The next on the uncertain list is Christian Pulisic, bought for £58m in 2019, the winger would arguably be most affected by Sterling’s signing due to his prominence on the left of Chelsea’s attack, an area Sterling has mostly played from for his club and nation.
Rumours of Pulisic leaving Chelsea have been prominent for months, only halted by the takeover of an American consortium and the belief that selling the USA’s star player would be seen as far-fetched in a pre-season when the Blues will embark on their first tour stateside since 2016.
However, all of the reports suggest that Tuchel will have room to shape this squad and Todd Boehly is looking at unique ways to sell of unwanted talent – as seen by the potential swap for Werner to Turin.
There are similarities to Pulisic and Sterling, both players have shown good anticipation inside the box, with a lot of their goals looking more reflective of an old-school poacher than a dazzling winger. Sterling, four years older than Pulisic, is a level above the American and his goal record proves it, hitting 10-plus in his last five Premier League campaigns.
Though the hopes over Pulisic have mostly leaned on his anticipation and the hope with patience and some maturity, he could become more prolific in the coming years. Would it be silly to invest this much on Sterling when you could nurture what you already have within the squad?
You could flip it and say having Sterling and Pulisic in the squad starts to form a more consistent profile of player within the final third, than the pretty awkward concoction of profiles Chelsea has had over recent years.
And there is no getting away from the message Sterling’s signing sends to the current squad, this in a similar way to Romelu Lukaku last year, is a major investment on a ready-made player in his prime who will demand instant and consistent minutes, which is likely to force Pulisic, who already is though to be irritated by Tuchel’s rotational policy, closer to the exit door.
Tuchel clearly needs to resolve his attacking shortcomings in the new season. However, the debate over how much of Chelsea’s issues lie with the talent themselves and the system that has been set up to play in remains an awkward one.
Are Chelsea about to spend more on another player who will only add to the mass confusion built up since 2019 in the final third?