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Transfer windows across Europe opened on Friday, June 10, and the competition for hot young talent is fierce. One name on the radar of European soccer powers is 18-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina. The Chicago Fire keeper is a target of Real Madrid, but the latest Chelsea transfer news is that the London-based side is trying to steal the MLS player.

Real Madrid set its sights on Gaga Slonina this offseason

After winning its record 14th Champions League title, Real Madrid hit the offseason running, planning on restocking the organization with talent.

While the club missed out on the two major young prizes in Europe — Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe — Los Blancos is still pushing hard to bring in more youngsters to develop.

One of the prospects Real Madrid is pursuing during the summer transfer window is MLS goalkeeper Gaga Slonina. The teenage sensation has started all 14 games for the Chicago Fire this season. Slonina started the season hot, posting five clean sheets in his first seven games.

The statistics have fallen off since then as the Fire have become the worst team in MLS. However, Slonina’s talent between the pipes is undeniable.

The fact that the 6-foot-4 keeper started in one of the better leagues in the world at just 17-years-old speaks to just how good Slonina can be.

Real Madrid made the Chicago Fire an official offer last week, but the MLS club turned it down. Now, it seems like Chelsea might be the team willing to pony up the cash for the keeper.

Chelsea transfer news suggests shocking swoop for Slonina

The latest Chelsea transfer news is that the English Premier League club is now the leading contender to sign Gaga Slonina.

Football insider Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Chelsea is willing to pay around €10 million ($10.4M) for the goalkeeper’s services.

If the Chelsea transfer news is correct, it seems as though the plan would be for the 2020-21 Champions League winners to loan Slonina back to the Chicago Fire for at least the rest of the season and possibly longer.

Right now, Chelsea has 30-year-old keeper Édouard Mendy in goal and 27-year-old Kepa Arrizabalaga behind him. Although, Kepa has been a major disappointment since coming to London from Athletic Bilbao in 2018. He could be on his way out this summer.

There are also several goalkeeping prospects in Chelsea’s pipeline. Teddy Sharman-Lowe (19), Lucas Bergström (19), Nathan Baxter (23), and Jamie Cumming (22) are all under contract for the Blues.

$10 million would be one of the biggest transfers in MLS history

Chelsea transfer news has the club chasing Chicago Fire (MLS) keeper Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina (pictured).
Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina | Quinn Harris/Getty Images

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If the Chelsea transfer news is correct and $10.4 million is the number that the club will pay for Gaga Slonina, that would make the talented young keeper one of the most expensive outgoing transfers in MLS history.

According to, a $10.4 million price tag would move the Slonina deal ahead of Jozy Altidore, who the New York Red Bulls sold to Villarreal in 2008.

The only deals bigger deals in MLS history are:

  • Gonzalo Martínez: Atlanta United to Al-Nassr, 2020, $18 million
  • Ricagro Pepi: FC Dallas to Augsburg, 2022, $20 million
  • Alphonso Davies: Vancouver Whitecaps FC to Bayern Munich, 2019, up to $22 million
  • Miguel Almiron: Atlanta United to Newcastle United, 2019, $26 million

Whichever team the Chicago Fire decides to sell Slonina to, we know that he will end up on this list. 

And if this is Chelsea transfer news coming to fruition, the young keeper will have an easier path to playing on the senior squad than he will at Real Madrid. That would be a win for both American fans and the player himself.

All stats courtesy of Transfermrkt

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