Stamford Bridge side line up Anfield raid in Blues transfer coup.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been given the backing of Blues owner Roman Abramovich as he prepares an audacious move for Liverpool teenager Raheem Sterling.
Mourinho is believed to rate the Jamaican born England international very highly indeed and is keeping a close eye on the ongoing contract talks between the 19 year old winger and his Anfield employers.
The Stamford Bridge side have recently been strongly linked with an interest in Everton youngster Ross Barkley but Mourinho is said to be far more interested in Sterling, albeit in the knowledge that such an acquisition will prove far tougher to secure than a move for the Everton midfielder.
Sterling has been in sparkling form over the past 18 months, leading to interest from across Europe, though if Liverpool fail to build on their successes of 2013/14 and do not retain a Champions League berth for 2015/16 then Mourinho could feel confident of luring the wide-man to west London.
Chelsea are primed and ready to launch a £48m bid next summer with Mourinho keen to reinforce a strong English presence in a squad that saw both Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole end their lengthy spells at the club, with John Terry likely to do likewise in the near future.
Indeed Chelsea are not overly concerned as to whether the Jamaican born wide-man pens a new contract, with Liverpool set to hand Sterling a £100k a week deal, as they will in turn stump up a far bigger deal as part of any package to tempt the player into leaving Merseyside for the capital.
Mourinho is keen to build for the future and though his squad, consisting a veritable army of loaned out starlets, is crammed full of talents with bright futures the Chelsea manager rightly sees Sterling as a player who can in time be considered one of the top players in world football and as such wants to land the player before the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona or PSG (all of whom have been linked with an interest in the attacker) do.
Despite his tender years Sterling is already into his fourth season in the Liverpool first team set-up and has racked up 15 goals in 82 appearances and has nine national team caps to his name.