Chelsea agree deal with Manchester City for Cole Palmer that could rise to £45m


Chelsea are set to bolster their attacking options after reaching an agreement in principle to sign Manchester City’s Cole Palmer. City rejected Chelsea’s opening offer of £35m for the winger but subsequent negotiations between the clubs have gone well and the deal is expected to be concluded before the transfer window shuts on Friday for a fee expected to be £40m plus £5m in add-ons.

It will come as a welcome boost for Mauricio Pochettino, who has been trying to add another attacking player to his squad since losing Christopher Nkunku to a long-term knee injury. Pochettino has given his backing to Chelsea’s move for Palmer and talks over personal terms with the England Under-21s international are not expected to be an issue.

City have been open to offers for Palmer, who has three years left on his deal, and the 21-year-old is ready to leave the Premier League champions. The versatile forward has been pushing for more opportunities at City and has made an encouraging start to the season, scoring against Arsenal in the Community Shield and Sevilla in the Super Cup. Palmer had hoped to work his way into Pep Guardiola’s plans after the departure of Riyad Mahrez.

Pochettino has been looking for a flexible attacker and Palmer’s ability to play in more than one position makes him an attractive proposition. He became a key target for Chelsea after they missed out on the signing of Michael Olise from Crystal Palace.

Chelsea have assessed a number of attacking options, including Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, Lyon’s Bradley Barcola and Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson, who is wanted by Tottenham. They have been linked with the Barcelona trio of Raphinha, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.

Nicolas Jackson has impressed as Chelsea’s No 9 and will soon have competition from Armando Broja, who is close to returning from a knee injury. They are open to signing another centre-forward but are prepared to wait until January before making a move. There is interest in Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who is suspended until January, but there is no need to rush into a move for the striker this week.