Chelsea reach agreement to sign Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina

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Chelsea have reached an agreement to sign young goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina from MLS side Chicago Fire, 90min understands.

Slonina has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past 12 months, becoming the Fire’s number one and making a string of impressive displays despite his tender years – drawing comparisons to the legendary Gianluigi Buffon. The teenager has already earned a number of call-ups to the USMNT senior squad, although he is yet to make his senior debut.

90min reported in June that Chelsea had moved ahead of European champions Real Madrid in the race for the 18-year-old’s signature, with personal terms agreed earlier this month before an official bid of $10m (£8.5m) was made.

That offer has been accepted with added bonuses, and 90min understands an agreement is in place for Slonina to move to Stamford Bridge – although he will remain on loan with Chicago Fire until the start of January 2023 following the conclusion of the MLS campaign.

The goalkeeper is set to undergo a medical in the coming days before the deal is officially confirmed. It will be a record transfer for an American goalkeeper.

Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme BaileyHarry Symeou Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Cristiano Ronaldo holding talks with Man Utd over his future, Barcelona signing Jules Kounde ahead of Chelsea, Man City rewarding Phil Foden with a new contract and more. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

As reported by 90min, Slonina’s representatives held talks with Premier League clubs over a possible summer move back in January amid interest from Spain and Germany.

Although Real Madrid showed a serious interest, Chelsea have seen off that competition to land the starlet. Slonina may well end up being Kepa Arrizabalaga’s replacement at Stamford Bridge, with the current number two likely to depart this summer in search of regular game time.



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