Raheem Sterling open to Manchester City exit as he seeks more game time
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Manchester City are prepared to let Raheem Sterling depart the Etihad this summer as Chelsea grow in confidence that a deal will be completed. And Pep Guardiola already has a replacement in place – without having to fork out any money – with young talent Cole Palmer expected to be given a chance to shine.
The Citizens are looking to cash in on the winger this summer with him set to enter the final 12 months of his contract. The 27-year-old could be available for a bargain price this summer, having been a key member for City since joining from Liverpool for £44million in 2015.
Although Guardiola and Co are looking to raid the transfer market this summer, City will not be signing a new winger to replace Sterling. Academy graduate Palmer is expected to make more outings for the first team next season after a brief spell in the senior squad last season – making four apperances.
The Spanish boss has previously shown how pleased he had been with Palmer following his displays in the first team, hinting he is ready for first-team football. “As the game went on, he (Palmer) showed his quality in the final third. He made a good performance. Now, he has almost 90 minutes in his legs and knows how to fight in the Premier League against experienced players.
“Cole has a special quality in front of the box, a talent that is difficult to find. When he has the ball there, most of the time, it ends up in the net. “His position is the second team, but at the same time, he trains with us and works with our principles.”
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According to The Athletic, although it was always considered that both Gabriel Jesus and Sterling could leave this summer, a plan was never put in place to replace them.
Guardiola also expects Riyad Mahrez to stay despite his current deal expiring next summer. The club are also confident in the two strikers Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez who have recently arrived at the Etihad.
And with the likes of Jack Grealish and Phil Foden also able to play down the wings, Guardiola certaintly has options in attack. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly likely that Sterling could part ways with the club.
Meanwhile Chelsea are confident that the England international can change that. In his 339 appearances for the Citizens, Sterling has scored 131 goals.
The 27-year-old’s versatility of being able to play out wide and through the middle as a false nine can also be very beneficial for Thomas Tuchel’s side, with Romelu Lukaku set to return to Inter Milan.
Meanwhile, the other priority targets at the Etihad is Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Brighton & Hove Albion full-back Marc Cucurella.
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