Talks between Chelsea and MLS side Chicago Fire regarding goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina have reportedly broken down.

According to reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano on Twitter, Chelsea have been handed a major setback on the transfer front as negotiations for Gabriel Slonina have fallen apart.

The Blues have been in touch with Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire for their 17-year-old shot-stopper for some time now. Chelsea, for their part, looked set to land their target for around €6-7 million and were keen to loan him back to the MLS outfit until 2023. All of that appears to have gone up in smoke now.

Chelsea were subjected to severe sanctions courtesy of their owner Roman Abramovich given his association with Vladimir Putin amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The United Kingdom Government’s sanctions have hit Chelsea where it hurts, leaving them helpless to negotiate new contracts or sign new players.

The Blues are also barred from selling merchandise but are now allowed to start selling some tickets again. But their transfer plans seem to be taking a huge hit due to the sanctions, with their move for Slonina now falling apart.

Slonina is one of the most promising teenage goalkeepers in world football and is already a regular for the Chicago Fire senior side. While there is a huge gulf in quality between the MLS and top tier European football, the fact that the 17-year-old is already a regular speaks volumes of his talent.

He became the youngest goalkeeper in MLS history and the youngest to keep a clean sheet during his debut against New York City FC in a 0-0 draw at the tender age of 17 years and 81 days. In January this year, Slonina earned his first senior call up to the US Men’s National Team and continues to enhance his reputation. If all goes well, we could be looking at one of the best goalkeepers for the upcoming decade.

As things stand, Chelsea’s list of potential buyers has been whittled down to just four. It includes Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca, the consortium led by Todd Boehly, the consortium led by Sir Martin Broughton and the Ricketts family. The Blues will hope that a resolution can be found to their plight soon, helping the club restart normal operations.

Also Read: Chelsea and Abramovich in limbo: What do the UK government sanctions mean for the club?

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