Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling masterplan looks to be dead in the water. The English winger had been brought in to inject experience into the West London club’s frontline – with Joe Cole praising the move as a way of helping the likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic reach their full potential.
However, all four could be out of the door within a year of his signing. Werner has already departed, joining RB Leipzig in August. Meanwhile, Havertz, Mount and Pulisic are all linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Speaking to BBC Sport at the start of this season, shortly after Sterling was announced as a Chelsea player, Cole said: “Chelsea are getting one of England's best Players in the prime of his career at a good price. It's a great bit of business.
“It helps us in the final third of the pitch - he's a goal scorer and he can help the young Players. We are very young in that area - Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic. Raheem is five or six years older than them, has more games under his belt and has been round the block.”
Blues boss Graham Potter recently admitted that he will have to offload several Players from his bloated 30-man squad in order to level the books – and the aforementioned trio are included in those at risk.
Havertz is understood to be among Bayern Munich’s top targets while Pulisic is expected to force his way out of the door after an underwhelming season. Chelsea are keen on keeping Mount but will be left with no choice apart from selling him if he continues to reject offers from the club’s hierarchy.
Speaking to assembled media ahead of Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa, Potter said: “The number of the squad is not optimal, whatever competition we are in.
“I think everybody would suggest that’s correct. That’s a normal part of the football club business. Things happen and people move on. Sometimes it’s because the player needs more game time. Sometimes it’s because there’s a sale.
“That’s the challenge we have. We have a big squad, a deep squad. It’s a squad with a lot of really, really good Players. It’s a challenge to manage them. But it’s not been a negative challenge from my perspective.”
Other Players that could be sold in the coming months include Mateo Kovacic, Hakim Ziyech, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Cesar Azpilicueta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.