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Chelsea and Arsenal ready to battle for Raheem Sterling if and when Manchester City decide to sell — report

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England Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Silly Season never sleeps, as we’re fond of saying, and so it goes that we’re already getting rumors lined up not only for January (see: Ross Barkley, Alexis Sanchez, etc) but possibly for next summer as well.

According to the Telegraph, “a number of the top Premier League clubs and managers are under the impression” that Manchester City will make Raheem Sterling available for transfer within the next 12 months, which likely means next summer. City are widely expected to move for Alexis either in January or at the end of the season, and with Sterling already lined up as collateral damage this summer, he’s expected to become just that next summer as well.

City baulked at sending Sterling in part-exchange for Alexis in the final hours of the transfer window, and are apparently more than happy to keep him, but the Telegraph claims that he could become a casualty of Pep Guardiola’s spending in the end anyway. Certainly there are only so many attacking midfielders that one team can keep happy, and if Alexis does join City’s current group, the competition for minutes would be outrageous. So even if City wouldn’t want to sell, if Sterling could be tempted, a transfer could be worked out. The 22-year-old, already one of the most talented players of his generation, moved to City from Liverpool for £44+5m in 2015 and would command at least as much in today’s market, if not significantly more.

Chelsea could do a lot worse than to stick our nose into this developing situation. With neither Willian nor Pedro getting any younger, somebody like Sterling would be a welcome addition to the squad. We’d have to pay the “English tax” on him, but getting his level of talent in a homegrown squad spot would be worth it.

This, like the Toby Alderweireld rumors from yesterday, are nothing more than agents laying the groundwork for potential future business. So no need to get excited, but certainly something to keep an eye on then.