Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has said that Chelsea were in advanced talks to sign 17-year-old Major League Soccer (MLS) goalkeeper Gaga Slonina. The USA U-20 international currently plays for the Chicago Fire and has represented the club on 15 occasions.
The Blues could have agreed a deal for the 17-year-old custodian if they hadn’t been hit by sanctions by the UK government on their owner Roman Abramovich for Russia’s Ukraine invasion. Because of the sanctions, Chelsea cannot sign any new players in the transfer window or offer contracts to existing players.
Fabrizio Romano tweeted the following:
“Chelsea were in advanced talks to sign talented Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina [born in 2004]. The plan was to sign Slonina for €6/7m fee, then loan him back to Chicago until 2023. Talks have now broken down due to UK sanctions.”
According to the MLS’ official website, Chelsea are one of several European clubs to have shown interest in signing Slonina from Chicago Fire. Even if a move does go through, Slonina could spend the 2022 season with the Fire.
Despite his tender age, Slonina is one of the first names in the Chicago Fire teamsheet. The 17-year-old shot-stopper has started all four games of the season so far, keeping three clean sheets and conceding just once.
His solid performances behind goal have seen Chicago Fire climb to third spot in the Eastern Conference of the MLS. They have amassed eight points from four games this season.
It is also worth mentioning that Slonina is currently eligible to play for either Poland or the United States. The 17-year-old shot-stopper was recently called up to the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) for the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. However, he is yet to get a full international cap to his name.
Chelsea’s outstanding youth academy could lure Slonina away from MLS
Chelsea have one of the best youth academies in the Premier League. The Blues have often produced some of the finest youngsters in the country. Recently, they have seen the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Conor Gallagher come out of their academy.
Their amazing track record of nurturing youngsters could be a reason for Slonina to leave the MLS to come to England. However, the sanctions have ended that possibility for now.