'Direct talks': Todd Boehly is now pushing to bring £10m player to Chelsea

Fabrizio Romano has claimed Chelsea have reached a verbal agreement to sign highly-rated Gabriel Slonina from Chicago Fire, with Todd Boehly taking charge of talks to get the deal done.

The 18-year-old has been a long-running target for the Blues, who look set to beat Real Madrid to a potential deal.

But Chelsea’s takeover seemed to slow down the deal, which was initially worked on while Roman Abramovich was still at the club.

Despite his young age, Slonina already has plenty of MLS experience under his belt, with him making a late push to be part of the United States squad at this winter’s World Cup.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The young goalkeeper looked set to miss out on his move this summer however, with Chelsea still needing to address a number of other areas more urgently ahead of the upcoming season.

However, it appears Boehly has reignited the deal, with Romano claiming he has been directly talking to Chicago Fire about a move for his compatriot.

He tweeted: “Chelsea have reached verbal agreement with Chicago Fire for Gabriel Slonina, after direct talks between Todd Boehly and MLS club. 10m deal plus add-ons, he’d stay at Chicago on loan.

“Chelsea are expected to submit official bid this week in order to get the deal done.”

Boehly pushing for Slonina

The move is further evidence on Boehly’s desire to succeed as new owner at the club, proving he is able to negotiate for deals that don’t necessarily steal the headlines.

This is not the first time the American will have impressed the Stamford Bridge faithful, with it being noted that his influence in negotiations for Raheem Sterling were key in helping the England international make up his mind.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Loaning Slonina back to his current side will remind fans of the Thibaut Courtois scenario from nearly a decade ago, with his game massively developing on loan at Atletico Madrid before returning to Chelsea to replace Petr Cech.

While the deal may not be for one of the big names the Blues have been linked to, the signing could be a shrewd investment for the future.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.