The Gabriel Slonina transfer saga is over, and it appears the U.S. goalkeeping prospect is headed to West London.
Chelsea has agreed with MLS’s Chicago Fire on a transfer for the 18-year-old American, per Sky Sports’ Fabrizio Romano. The Premier League side will pay Chicago a $10 million base fee, per The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio, and Slonina will join his new club in January, after the conclusion of the MLS season.
Spanish giant Real Madrid appeared to be Slonina’s destination of choice throughout the summer. This year’s UEFA Champions League winners reportedly made a bid in June that was rejected by the Fire. Yet Slonina’s agent Jaime Garcia maintained that it was the young goalkeeper’s dream to play for Madrid, and that he hoped the two clubs could reach an agreement.
“With respect to other clubs and other offers—we’ve received many and we are gracious to those clubs—but you cannot say no to Real Madrid,” Garcia told MLSSoccer.com.
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Yet it is Chelsea, recently purchased by American billionaire Todd Boehly, who will get the signature of the U.S. international.
Slonina, casually known as Gaga, is second in MLS in clean sheets this season with 10 in 23 matches. After a call-up to the Polish national team in May, the dual-national announced that he’d be playing his international soccer with the United States. While he doesn’t figure to be a factor in the upcoming World Cup—he has yet to make an appearance for the USMNT—Slonina is the U.S.’s top goalkeeping prospect in years.
And now, he’ll be yet another American presence at one of the Premier League’s top clubs.
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