Some Chelsea fans are already wondering what shirt number main attacking target Raheem Sterling could don next season if his move from Man City goes through.
It has taken a short while for Chelsea to get going in the summer transfer window following months of sanctions that prevented them making headway, but with Lukaku’s situation seemingly heading towards a positive conclusion, attention is starting to finally switch towards incomings. Although defence is the main priority in this summer’s transfer window amid fresh updates on Jules Kounde and Man City’s Nathan Ake, it is in fact another player from the current Premier League champions who could be joining Chelsea next season.
This is according to The Athletic, who report that confidence is growing between both parties that a deal can be completed in the near future which will see the player make the move that he hopes guarantees him more regular first-team football. Sterling is set to enter the final year of his contract with City, and reports do vary on the potential cost to Chelsea, with estimates between £35million and £60million. The expectation is that both clubs can come to a compromise on the price and once that final stumbling block is out of the way, other details like personal terms on his contract amongst other minor tasks will then come onto the agenda.
One of these potential tasks that could rear its head is what shirt number will be offered in the 27-year-old’s direction. During his highly successful career which has seen silverware won in Manchester after a positive emergence onto the scene back in 2010 for Liverpool, the City star has only donned a total of three shirt numbers during his playing days to date,
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In Merseyside, he was initially handed the No.31 jersey during his progression from the reserves to the first-team set-up, before taking the No.11 top. Once his £44million transfer from Liverpool to rivals Man City went through back in 2015, The Jamaican-born forward has only worn the No.7 kit throughout his seven-year stint at the Etihad Stadium. A problem he may have already is that each of the aforementioned numbers Sterling has donned are already occupied by current Chelsea players.
His preferred and most recent No.7 currently belongs to N’Golo Kante, whilst Timo Werner holds No.11 and Malang Sarr occupies the 31. Of course, the latter two of the trio have been linked to moves away, so if one or both were to leave, Sterling would have a chance to take them. Alternatively, on the international stage, Man City’s current No.7 has played in the No.10, 20, 18, 21, 19, 22 and 16 shirts, as per transfermarkt.
All numbers which are currently taken once more by current members of the squad. With Ross Barkley’s, Hakim Ziyech’s and Christian Pulisic’s futures up in the air though, the chances of one of those numbers becoming free after the summer transfer window closes are high.
And with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen already confirmed to have left, there are currently only a few other shirts below No.35 available at this stage: 2, 4, 15, 25, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33, and 34.
Source by Football London