Transfer News: Gabriel Slonina to join Chelsea from MLS side Chicago Fire on January 1
According to reliable transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano via Twitter, Chelsea have agreed terms with MLS side Chicago Fire for the transfer of Gabriel Slonina. The fee is said to be $15 million including add-ons.
The goalkeeper and his agent will fly to London on Sunday to complete his medical and sign the deal as per Romano. But the player will join the Blues on January 1 after completing the MLS season with Chicago Fire.
Should the transfer go through, the 18-year-old will become Thomas Tuchel’s third summer signing. The Blues are said to have beat off interest from Real Madrid for the shot-stopper.
He is viewed as the future No. 1 for the United States national team, having represented his country at the youth level. The 18-year-old is the number one choice for the Fires this season keeping 10 clean sheets in 22 appearances so far.
Slonina will be expected to provide competition to Edouard Mendy who has established himself as the undisputed number one choice for Tuchel. Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has fallen down the pecking order has been linked with a loan move to Napoli this summer.
The teenage goalkeeper is very unlikely to replace Mendy after joining, but could compete with him for starts in the future. Just 18 years of age, Slonina could be the man between the sticks for the Blues several years down the line. Tuchel, meanwhile, will hope that he can complete a few more signings before the new season starts.
Chelsea would be wise to strengthen at the back this summer. Having already signed Kalidou Koulibaly, Tuchel must add another centre-back to his ranks.
However, that is proving to be a task and has been making Chelsea fans nervous for quite some time. The season starts in less than a week.
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The Blues have wrapped up their pre-season and will now focus on the season opener against Everton next weekend. Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, and Koulibaly could be the three men the German manager starts in the backline then – while Cesar Azpilicueta is still a Chelsea player.