• Raheem Sterling is contracted with Man City until 2023
  • Both the parties are willing to part ways this summer
  • Chelsea have made Sterling one of their top targets

Manchester City have reportedly rejected an opening bid from Chelsea for forward Raheem Sterling.

Sterling is contracted with City until 2023. The Etihad side turned down Chelsea's offer of $26 million for Sterling. Pep Guardiola and Co. are willing to part ways with the England national but want around $58 million to $63 million for the player, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Chelsea are waiting for Romelu Lukaku's loan deal with Inter Milan to complete before turning their focus to Sterling, according to The Guardian. Inter Milan are confident of securing Lukaku on a year's loan deal, which would also see Chelsea get rid of the player's lucrative wages and also receive a loan fee.

Sterling, who can play out wide and through the middle as a false nine, could help Chelsea fill the void that would be left by Lukaku.

Goals were an issue for Chelsea last season and Sterling had proven himself in that regard at City, scoring 131 goals in 339 appearances for the reigning Premier League champions.

Sterling joined City from Liverpool for $54 million in July 2015 and went on to win four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups.

With the arrival of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, plus the form of the likes of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez, has meant it won't be easy for Sterling to find a place regularly in Guardiola's XI next season. Even Gabriel Jesus could part ways with City with Arsenal interested in making the Brazilian striker their No. 1 target, according to The Athletic.

Raheem Sterling (left) scored twice in Manchester City's 6-3 win over Leicester
Raheem Sterling (left) scored twice in Manchester City's 6-3 win over Leicester AFP / Anthony Devlin

Sterling played 37 out of the 38 Premier League fixtures last season, starting only 23 out of those. The Englishman scored 13 goals in the league and provided six assists. He set up Ilkay Gündogan's goal on the final day of the season when Manchester City made a remarkable comeback to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and clinch the league title.