Chelsea have Raheem Sterling transfer alternative who would save Thomas Tuchel £35m
Chelsea's 2022-23 Premier League fixtures
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Chelsea have been heavily linked with a £35million move for Manchester City star Raheem Sterling this week, with the club set to make a bid for the England hero given that the winger has just one year left on his contract. But they could save themselves that money by instead opting for Barcelona’s forgotten man Ousmane Dembele – who is set to leave the Nou Camp on a free transfer next week.
Sterling has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium for the best part of a year, with Barcelona and Chelsea remaining the two clubs most touted with securing his signature. Despite his exploits for City in recent years, which have seen the club win four of the past five Premier League titles available, he could still leave the club for pastures new ahead of the World Cup.
Chelsea are considering a bid because Romelu Lukaku is almost certain to depart the club in a return to Inter Milan after what was a paltry second-debut season from the Belgian. But with defensive recruitments being paramount to their success next season once Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen depart on free transfers at the end of June, that £35m could be saved – with Dembele representing a better value for money than the London-born star.
Gianluca Di Marzio reported earlier on Sunday that Chelsea were confident of signing Sterling. However, he also detailed that Dembele also interests the current world champions after he had no interest in accepting the proposal he currently has from Barcelona.
Chelsea do have their doubts about Dembele, with his injury record slightly concerning Blues chiefs given that he featured just nine times in 2019-20 and started just 15 league games last season. Despite being touted as one of the world’s best talents in his time at Rennes and Borussia Dortmund, the Frenchman has failed to hit the heights expected of him in the Catalonian capital due to severe injury issues.
But if he can start firing right under Thomas Tuchel, the winger – who is still only 25 – could represent a real bargain if he can replicate the form he showed as a teenager. Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez recently praised Dembele for his professionalism despite multiple injury setbacks.
“He looks happy,” Xavi said in a news conference in March. “He is an exemplary professional. I have not had a single problem with him and I have heard all sorts.
“That he has not been professional, that he doesn’t take care of himself…it is the opposite. He trains well and he is positive around the group.”
Chelsea have yet to make a signing this summer, although that is down to the recent takeover of Todd Boehly after former owner Roman Abramovich was hit by sanction from the UK Government.
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