As widely reported, Gabriel Slonina is about to become the second American goalkeeper on the books of a London club.
The Italian soccer rumor mill expert Fabrizio Romano tweeted that a verbal agreement had been reached between Chelsea and Chicago Fire over the 18 year-old shot-stopper.
The Illinois native joined the Fire’s youth academy and three years later signed a professional homegrown player contract with the MLS side. He has also represented the USA at various youth levels and although called up to the senior team last December and this past January, did not feature in any games.
Being eligible to represent Poland, head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz called up the 6’4” keeper for the country’s Nations League games against Belgium, Holland and Wales in June but Slonina declined the invitation and declared his intentions to represent the USA.
The deal is said to be worth around $10m but could rise with add-ons also stipulated in the contract.
Slonina will eventually join Matt Turner of Arsenal FC in London but part of the contract stipulates that Chicago will keep the youngster on loan for the rest of the season.
Chelsea, co-owned by American billionaire Todd Boehly, through Clearlake Capital, took over control of the Blues in May 2022, and this would be his first acquisition, if it goes through in the coming days. Slonina will join fellow American Christian Pulisic when his loan move expires.
Slonina’s move to Chelsea was at risk of collapsing earlier this month after club legend Petr Cech resigned from his role as technical and performance advisor.
The deal is expected to be around $10 million plus add-ons, making the homegrown standout one of the most expensive outbound transfers in MLS history.