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Chelsea 'will listen to offers for 29-year-old attacker this summer'

Chelsea 'will listen to offers for 29-year-old attacker this summer'
© Reuters
Chelsea are reportedly open to summer bids for Raheem Sterling and have earmarked Crystal Palace's Michael Olise as an ideal replacement.

Chelsea are reportedly prepared to entertain offers for one of their experienced attackers in the summer transfer window.

Twenty-nine-year-old Raheem Sterling has failed to hit the same heights at Stamford Bridge as he did with Manchester City, and he has become a bit-part player for Mauricio Pochettino in recent times.

Sterling made an encouraging start to the season and boasts a respectable nine goals and eight assists from 41 games this season, including a strike in Saturday's thrilling 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest.

However, the ex-Liverpool man's thunder has been stolen by Cole Palmer this season, while Noni Madueke and Mykhaylo Mudryk have been preferred in the wide areas by Pochettino over the past few weeks.

Consequently, Sterling has not started a Premier League game since the 3-2 triumph over Newcastle United on March 11, and he was also overlooked for a place in the first XI in Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling in action for Chelsea on March 17, 2024.© Reuters

Chelsea 'identify Crystal Palace man as Sterling replacement'

The England international - who has not played for his country since the 2022 World Cup - still has another three years left to run on his contract, but according to Fichajes, Chelsea are open to bids for his services this summer.

Removing Sterling's hefty salary from their wage bill is thought to be a significant motivation in Chelsea's decision to sell the 29-year-old, and the Blues have already identified a ready-made replacement.

The report adds that Chelsea will rekindle their interest in Crystal Palace's Michael Olise, whom they came close to signing last summer by triggering the £33m release clause in his Eagles contract.

However, the France Under-21 international ultimately turned his nose up to a switch to Stamford Bridge and extended his Palace contract, which is now said to include a heftier release clause of £60m.

Instead of stumping up the full fee, Chelsea could supposedly try to offer a player or two to Palace in exchange for Olise, although it is unclear if Sterling could be used as a makeweight.

Which other Chelsea players could follow Sterling out of the door?

Chelsea's Thiago Silva pictured on April 20, 2024© Reuters

Sterling's prospective departure from Chelsea hinges on an interested party stumping up a reasonable fee, but the Blues are not expected to play hardball too much given their volatile Financial Fair Play situation.

The West London giants are already confirmed to be losing 39-year-old defender Thiago Silva when his deal runs out this summer, while the exiled Malang Sarr - who did not even make Chelsea's Premier League squad - will surely depart as well.

Sarr and Conor Gallagher are the two Chelsea players whose contracts expire at the end of next season, and Tottenham Hotspur are being tipped to make a play for the Englishman, whose renewal talks with the Blues have not yielded a positive solution.

On-loan players including Ian Maatsen, Romelu Lukaku, Armando Broja, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Hakim Ziyech surely have no futures in West London either, but David Datro Fofana has hinted that he wants to stay and come good at Chelsea.

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Co-owner and Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly reacts after the match on March 11, 2024
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