Gabriel Slonina’s transfer to Chelsea from the Chicago Fire has reportedly been agreed upon, with the reported amount being £12.3 million plus add-ons, according to Fabrizio Romano, an Italian transfers expert.
The teenage goalkeeper will continue to play for Chicago Fire for the rest of the Major League Soccer season before making the permanent move to the West London club on January 1st, 2023.
The American U20 international and his agent are getting ready to board a flight to London in the near future to finish his medical exam and sign his contract.
Gabriel Pawel “Gaga” Slonina is an American professional soccer player who currently plays for the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer. He holds the nickname “Gaga.”
Slonina, who is only 18 years old, has become the youngest starting goalie in the history of Major League Soccer (MLS). Since his debut on August 4, 2021, he has made a total of 34 starts for the team.
The American has been outstanding this season, which has drawn interest from several teams, including Real Madrid. However, Chelsea has been tenacious in their pursuit of the young player.
While the sale of the team understandably put a halt to negotiations between the two clubs, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy had been negotiating for Slonina for several months before Clearlake and Todd Boehly completed their takeover of the club.
Despite interest from Real Madrid, Chelsea was always the heavy favorite to land the American.
How will he fit into Chelsea?
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been linked with a transfer away from Stamford Bridge, with Napoli of Serie A reportedly interested in the Spaniard.
Chelsea has identified Slonina as a long-term answer to their goalkeeping problems as a result of Edouard Mendy’s performance being questioned at various occasions during the previous campaign.
This “unbelievable” talent is going to move to Europe from the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the same way as Ricardo Pepi and Kevin Paredes did in the past year.
When Slonina was called up to play for the first team of the Chicago Fire, he immediately displayed his great skill by keeping an impressive ten clean sheets in his first 23 appearances of the current season.
He was selected for the US Men’s National Team due to his outstanding play, and although not receiving his first cap, the young goalie is adamant on making the team for the World Cup in Qatar, despite stiff competition from rivals like Matt Turner and Ethan Horvath.