The race for signing Gabriel Slonina has seen a second contender emerge, or at least reemerge. Real Madrid have already had a bid rejected for the 18-year-old goalkeeper, but Chelsea are also in the picture reports CBS Sports insider Fabrizio Romano. The Blues were considering a move in January, with the Chelsea board opening contacts with Slonina’s agent Jamie Garcia, but those discussions had to halt to a stop due to sanctions on then club owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Now that the team has been sold to Todd Boehly, interest in Slonina remains. Chelsea haven’t made an official bid yet but things will move quickly.
On the surface, both moves seem similar with Slonina moving to a top side behind a world class goalkeeper, and chances are either way Slonina will be loaned back to the Fire after the move is finalized, but. Chelsea have a long history of, if not allowing youth to succeed at Stamford Bridge, at least ensuring players are loaned out to get playing time, while Real Madrid’s track record is much more uneven. His agent, though, is pushing for a move to Real Madrid saying, “You cannot say no to Real Madrid” after the Fire rejected the initial approach. Wolverhampton are another club that was in the mix but with this shaping up to be a battle of the titans, it will come down to Chelsea and Madrid.
Hopefully, things come to a conclusion soon as the year has been a whirlwind one for Slonina. From committing his future to the United States men’s national team to being the talk of the town for possible moves all while he’s expected to keep the Chicago Fire’s defense afloat. It’s a lot for anyone to go through especially at a young age.