“Actively looking to sell” – Chelsea ready to force out top earner but must avoid 2022 issue

Our writer Simon Phillips has a very interesting piece up today on his Substack claiming that Chelsea are making moves to try to sell Raheem Sterling in order to create space to sign Michael Olise.

SPTC sources have said that Chelsea are actively looking to sell Sterling this window,” Phillips wrote.

“But it’s not as simple as that, and there is an acceptance that Sterling will stay because he has a desire to continue at Chelsea and also, zero suitors other than from Saudi have currently come forward for him due to his large wages.”

Raheem Sterling applauds the fans.

Threading the needle

Actively trying to sell Sterling is an understandable strategy – although it’s going to be a tough one to pull off, barring a miracle bid arriving from Saudi Arabia (and having just moved back home to London to join us, there are no guarantees Sterling would accept a move anyway.)

It’s certainly a squad move we understand. Sterling is on a lot of money, isn’t contributing as much as successive managers would have hoped, is too old to have an increasing value, and is blocking the development of players who do.

Sadly for sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, the wage and contract length are going to make him almost impossible to shift. They will know that better than anyone. Given that’s the case, the important thing is to not go too far and make the winger feel like he’s being forced out. Doing that simply means you crate potential dressing room issues for no benefit.

Shop him around quietly by all means, but make sure he doesn’t feel completely unwanted, or you end up with issues behind the scenes like we saw during the latter days of Graham Potter’s reign, where half the squad knew they were on the way out and weren’t too happy about it.

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