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Chelsea backed for two major transfers before new season with Raheem Sterling deemed a ‘perfect’ fit

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 6/26/2022 George Flood
sterlingchelsea190622a.jpg © Getty Images/Evening Standard sterlingchelsea190622a.jpg

Chelsea have been backed to make at least two high-profile signings before the new season kicks off, with Raheem Sterling deemed a “perfect” option for their attacking revamp.

The Blues are yet to conclude any incoming transfer business so far this summer, having been left lagging considerably behind their Premier League rivals owing to the restrictions placed on the club following the sanctioning of former owner Roman Abramovich and the subsequent sale process.

Chelsea have also bid farewell to long-serving transfer chief Marina Granovskaia and chairman Bruce Buck, with new owner Todd Boehly taking on the role of chairman and interim sporting director as he assumes personal responsibility for a planned rebuild that could cost as much as £150million.

Boehly is said to have met with ‘super agent’ Jorge Mendes recently to be brought up to speed on potential European targets, with Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly among the players discussed.

Chelsea are also pursuing Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, while Sterling and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele are also targets.

Sterling in particular is a key name for Boehly, with Chelsea increasingly confident of making him the marquee signing of a new era at Stamford Bridge and the focal point of an attacking remake that follows club-record signing Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter Milan on loan and potential exits for the likes of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

The England forward - said to be keen on a return to London after leaving QPR for Liverpool in 2010 - is entering the final 12 months of his deal at Manchester City, who could demand a fee of around £60m following the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.

And ex-Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has backed his former club to pull off two major deals before they begin the 2022/23 season away at Frank Lampard’s Everton on August 6, describing Sterling as an ideal solution to their forward issues amid criticism of Werner and Christian Pulisic.

“I think they’ll do at least two big signings before the start of the season,” he told talkSPORT. “I think that Raheem is perfect for Chelsea, I think that they need that kind of player.

“I love Raheem’s pace. There are so few players who can get to the byline as a wide player. Timo Werner is a terrible finisher, now some people say that Sterling’s finishing is not the greatest but he always gets chances and he always gets a decent number at the end of a season.”

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