Christian Pulisic has traded fish and chips for pizza, pasta, and espresso as his long-rumored to Serie A team AC Milan was finally confirmed on Thursday by the 19-times league champions.
The move from his former club Chelsea, which was rumored to be for a fee in excess of €20M Euros, finally draws a close to a mixed four-season stay in London, where he was an important piece in their 2021 Champions League title, but struggled to maintain his favor under the many coaches that cycled through the organization.
With that chapter of his life finally closed, the former Dortmund player joins a Rossoneri team that is more often competing in the Champions league than not, and is historically one of the giants of Italy. Last season, Milan finished fourth in Serie A, and will directly enter the group stage of Europe’s top competition.
“AC Milan is happy to announce the signing of Christian Mate Pulisic from Chelsea FC,” the team announced in a press release. “The American winger has signed a contract with the Rossoneri until 30 June 2027, with an option to extend his stay until 30 June 2028.”
Milan has already begun their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2023-24 season, and Pulisic was pictured in training with his new teammates. Thanks to his Croatian passport, he did not need to acquire a work permit before joining in team activities, and will not take up one of the limited non-EU spots in their roster.
The player spoke highly of his new home in his comments at the press conference to announce his arrival, hardly able to contain his excitement, “I’m delighted to be here, and I’m excited and honoured. Everything truly is special at AC Milan. You can breathe in the history, and you just want to come here.”
“I spoke to [head coach Stefano] Pioli and got a real sense that he wanted to have me, and I’m grateful to him,” he continued, adding, “for me, it’s a new start.”
His ambitions are high, and he looks to build upon the experience, positive and negative, that he had already playing many for Chelsea in European competition.
“I’ll try to help the team with the aim of winning trophies. I’ll be looking to grow and raise my level. I’ll have to learn a lot of things, including from a tactical perspective, but I can’t wait.”
“It’ll be great to play in the Champions League in this shirt,” he elaborated. “Last season, I followed the great run the Rossoneri went on. Thanks to my time at Chelsea, I have experience in the competition. I’ll give everything.”
The Rossoneri begin their upcoming Serie A season in just over one month, when they visit Bologna in their August 21 season opener. Before then, they will play a trio of high-profile friendly matches stateside, where their new American acquisition should feature heavily.
On Sunday, July 23, they face Real Madrid in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, then four days later take on Tim Weah and Juventus nearby in Carson. They close out their US tour on Tuesday, August 1 in Las Vegas against FC Barcelona.
Pulisic and the rest of his Rossoneri teammates will find out their Champions League Group-stage foes on August 31, with their first group game approximately two weeks later.