Chelsea are concentrating on deals for Raheem Sterling and Raphinha but have also discussed moves for Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
Chelsea are in advanced talks with Manchester City over a deal for Sterling. The club will only sign players Thomas Tuchel wants and he is determined to add the England winger to his attacking options this summer.
One source has told Sky Sports News an agreement between the two clubs over a fee is “close”, though another official has suggested this is an overly optimistic view of the current negotiations.
Any deal between Chelsea and City would be dependent on Sterling agreeing personal terms, and it’s thought he would expect to outdo the salary he is currently on at City, in keeping with his status as one of the biggest attacking talents in the Premier League, in the prime of his career.
As previously reported, Sterling’s relationship with Pep Guardiola and City remains very positive, with the Premier League champions content to let the 27-year-old leave, even to a rival, so long as there an acceptable bid in the region of £50m.
Sterling currently has only one year left on his existing contract at the Etihad, with no plans for that to be extended. He is keen on discussing a possible move back to London, where much of his family is still based – he grew up in Neasden, just a few miles from Wembley.
Sterling would offer Tuchel a guaranteed threat – he has directly contributed a combined 165 goals in the division in 320 appearances for Liverpool and City – as well as tactical flexibility and experience.
The 27-year-old believes he is in the decisive phase of his career and wants to make a significant contribution on and off the pitch.
The fact that City can afford to lose two attackers to members of the ‘Big Six’ – Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal for £45m and Sterling to Stamford Bridge – without trepidation is a sign of their solid recruitment and the gap that exists between the clubs.
Transfers between clubs at the top of the table are set to become more common as European teams struggle to financially compete with their English counterparts.
Ronaldo absent from Man Utd training
Cristiano Ronaldo was absent when the majority of Manchester United players returned for pre-season training with new boss Erik ten Hag on Monday morning.
The Portugal forward has informed the club he wants to leave this summer in order to play Champions League football.
It’s understood his absence from training on Monday was due to family reasons, with United accepting this explanation.
United’s position on Ronaldo remains that he has a year remaining on his contract and is not for sale, despite his desire to quit Old Trafford.
Chelsea target De Ligt keen on Bayern after talks
Bayern Munich want to sign Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt and negotiations are already in full swing, according to Sky in Germany.
Sky in Italy reported in June that De Ligt was one of Chelsea’s transfer targets this summer, but the player is understood to be keen on a move to the Allianz Arena after hearing sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and head coach Julian Nagelsmann’s pitch for the Bayern project.
However, the fee to lure De Ligt away from Juventus may be an issue for Bayern, especially if it is north of £51.7m (€60m).
The 22-year-old Netherlands international has a £103.4m (€120m) release clause in his Juve contract, but it’s understood the Italian club would be ready to talk at around £69m (€80m).
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