The intriguing Chelsea and Crystal Palace summer swap transfer deal that makes perfect sense for both clubs

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The Blues are understood to be interested in a big Selhurst Park talent

It was the best of transfer prospects, it was the worst of transfer prospects. In a positively Dickensian slant, we find ourselves in old London town, considering a tale of two wingers. On the one hand, we have Michael Olise; red hot, ascending, yearned for. On the other, we have Raheem Sterling, who is currently none of those things.

As the summer approaches, you won’t be able to wade too far into any gossip column before stubbing your toe on the name of the former. Another sparkling season at Crystal Palace has ensured that Olise remains a desirable target for a number of Premier League clubs, including - according to several reports - Chelsea.

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In sharp contrast, nobody wants Sterling. Not even the Blues. Exit talk continues unabated, but as yet, there are no obvious destinations or suitors available to the 29-year-old. The common consensus is that he would ideally like to stay at Stamford Bridge, and failing that in London, and failing that in the Premier League, but as yet none of those options feel particularly concrete.

Indeed, where Chelsea are concerned, it would appear that the Blues are actively trying to engineer his departure in the coming weeks. And this is where Sterling’s fate becomes entwined with Olise’s. According to TBR Football, Todd Boehly, that Monster Truck Machiavelli, is weighing up the prospect of offering the England international to Crystal Palace as a makeweight in a deal that would see the Frenchman move in the opposite direction.

Now, before we allow that particular whisper to build up a head of steam, it is worth emphasising that any agreement of that kind appears to be quite a way off. As per transfer insider Dean Jones, speaking to GiveMeSport: ‘Raheem Sterling's options in the Premier League are going to be few and far between, especially if he wants to stay in London.

‘There has been talk about a potential swap deal for him to go to Crystal Palace and Michael Olise to move in the other direction, which is interesting but a bit premature at this stage. It is not certain yet that Chelsea will even go for Olise, as the last I heard it was not looking like they would actually make an offer, but let’s see how things shape up over the next month.’

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Perhaps, then, this is much ado about nothing. But while there may not be a great deal of substance to Chelsea’s apparent interest in Olise just yet, the prospect of a swap deal is certainly something that they - and crucially, Palace - should consider.

Whether it is Stamford Bridge or elsewhere, there is a growing sense of inevitability that Olise will seek a new home this summer, and if that is the case then his current employers will struggle to find an immediate replacement who is as influential or as talismanic. On his day, Sterling can be exactly the kind of player.

Admittedly, it has not been his day very often in recent months, but good footballers do not become bad footballers overnight, and with a fresh start and a renewed sense of impetus, there is no reason to suggest that he couldn’t rekindle his best form at Selhurst Park.

If Chelsea’s schemes were to come to fruition, therefore, this could be an arrangement that suits all parties. The Blues bring in one of the most exciting young talents in the Premier League, who in turn gets his shot at one of the traditional ‘big six’. For their part, Palace presumably still receive a hefty fee, as well as a ready-made replacement for the departing Olise, while Sterling is also afforded the opportunity to rejuvenate a career that has meandered far too much of late. At the very least, it is something to consider.

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