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Cole Palmer has made 11 senior appearances for Manchester City (Photo: Getty)

Manchester City will reportedly hand Cole Palmer more first-team opportunities if Raheem Sterling is sold to Chelsea.

Sterling has been linked with a move away from the Etihad after seven trophy laden years, with Chelsea especially keen to secure his services while Real Madrid and Barcelona are also interested.

The England international has just one year left on his contract and wants to play for a club where he will be a guaranteed starter, something that Pep Guardiola may no longer be able to offer him after the signings of strikers Erling Haaland and Julian Alavrez.

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Raheem Sterling has one year left on his Man City contract (Photo: Getty)

City were already blessed in the forward department with stars like Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus, although the latter looks likely to join Arsenal, and Sterling feels somewhat undervalued despite being the club’s third highest goalscorer last season behind Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne.

The 27-year-old started 32 of the Citizen’s 58 games in the last campaign, the joint lowest tally since he moved to the club from Liverpool, and was benched for both legs of the crucial Champions League semi-final against Real.

According to The Times, Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly wants to make Sterling his first marquee signing but should he leave Guardiola will not bring in a new player to replace him.

Instead, he will give versatile forward Palmer more minutes, with the 20-year-old keen on playing on the right-wing, the position often occupied by Sterling, Jesus, and Mahrez.

Palmer made his senior City debut in 2020 and scored three goals in 11 games last season, as he looks to build upon a highly successful youth career.

In 28 games for the City U23s the academy graduate has netted 21 goals and made 10 assists, and has been a regular at international youth level, scoring twice in four caps for the England U21s.

As for Sterling, Chelsea seems to be his most likely destination, and while the Blues are also blessed with forward options, he will most likely walk straight into their starting XI, with Thomas Tuchel in desperate need of a prolific player to replace the misfiring Romelu Lukaku who is heading back to Inter Milan on loan.

MORE : Raheem Sterling urged to reject Chelsea transfer by former Manchester City star Trevor Sinclair

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