Chelsea are in talks with Dujon Sterling over a new contract, football.london understands.
The 21-year-old is undertaking pre-season training with the first team and is currently in Ireland with the rest of the senior group that is being overseen by Thomas Tuchel and his coaching staff.
Sterling endured a difficult 2020. A hamstring injury sustained while on loan at Wigan Athletic at the start of the year kept him out for three months and, when he was ready to make his return, the Championship season was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The academy graduate then suffered from a career-threatening injury during the United Kingdom’s first lockdown before contracting Covid-19 later in the year.
Sterling undertook his recovery work back at Chelsea and by the start of this year, Sterling was ready to make a comeback.
There was loan interest in the wing-back in January but the decision was taken for him to remain with the Blues and build himself back up with the Under-23s.
It’s understood Chelsea’s development squad coaches were impressed with how quickly Sterling regained full fitness and by the end of the season, he was very much back to his best.
His blistering speed had returned and he possessed a greater physicality due to the gym work put in during his comeback.
During the April international break, Sterling trained with the first-team squad. football.london understands Tuchel was impressed with the wing-back, who was on the radar of Borussia Dortmund during the German coach’s time at the club.
Tuchel has had longer to assess Sterling in pre-season and his stance on the wing-back is important within the context of contract talks.
The youngster is keen to stay at Chelsea but there are Championship clubs interested in loan deals, although it’s unlikely the club let him leave unless Sterling signs a new deal given he is out of contract next summer.
While the Blues are hoping to convince Sterling his long-term future is at Chelsea, one Chelsea youngster who is set to depart is Lewis Bate.
football.london understands a deal has been struck between Leeds and the Blues for the 18-year-old midfielder, who has already said his goodbyes to academy coaches and Chelsea teammates.
Chelsea are set to receive an initial fee of £1.5million for Bate, with further add-ons and a sell-on clause included.