Chelsea are ahead of Real Madrid in the transfer race for Chicago Fire young goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina despite his agent’s recent comments, according to MLS Soccer’s Tom Bogert.

The 18-year-old looked very close to joining Real Madrid after his agent, Jaime Garcia, opened up on his client’s potential move to Santiago Bernabeu.

“We are hoping Chicago can find an agreement with Real Madrid to realize Gabriel’s dream of playing for this club,” the agent told CBS Sports.

“With respect to other clubs and other offers we’ve received many, and at the moment we are gracious to those clubs, but you cannot say no to Real Madrid.”

The situation as not as simple as that, however.

Gabriel Slonina (1) seen during the MLS game between Toronto
Photo by Angel Marchini/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Real Madrid would also have to meet Chicago Fire’s asking price, and the Bogert claimed that the Spanish club had their initial offer rejected by the MLS side.

This might have presented an opportunity for Chelsea, whom according to Fabrizio Romano were very close to signing Slonina, to re-enter the frame.

Bogert now claims that Chelsea are now in pole position since they are much closer than Real Madrid to reaching Chicago Fire’s demands for the teenager.

Sporting Kansas City v Chicago Fire FC
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Neither Chelsea nor Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Chicago Fire, however, so the journalist described the situation as “fluid”.

He also mentioned that any deal for Slonina would include a clause to allow the goalkeeper to be loaned back to the club with MLS’s 2022 season ending in November.

Update: Romano also covered the same story, adding that the Blues are in talks with Chicago Fire to get the deal soon.

The eventual fees are expected to be around €10million (£8.5m).

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