Pulisic to Chelsea: Why Sarri wants Dortmund wonderkid SOCCER

With BVB currently top of the Bundesliga and through to the last 16 of the Champions League, they are unsurprisingly reluctant to weaken their squad by allowing the talented 20-year-old to leave during the January transfer window, in spite of the fact that the American is no longer a certain starter at Signal Iduna Park.

Consequently, the Germans are demanding £70 million ($89m) for Pulisic but Chelsea will attempt to drive down the asking price as talks between the two clubs progress.

Encouragingly for the Blues, Liverpool’s interest in the United States international has cooled, as Jurgen Klopp is happy with his offensive options, with Xherdan Shaqiri proving a shrewd summer signing.

Paris Saint-Germain are the main competition but Chelsea’s interest is more concrete and they are hoping that BVB can be persuaded to part company with Pulisic given the player’s contract expires in June 2020, meaning his value will decrease with each passing transfer window.

There is also the fact that Pulisic is no longer a key protagonist in BVB’s renaissance, having slipped down the pecking order due to the fantastic form of teenage sensation Jadon Sancho.

Indeed, while Pulisic impressed in the midweek Champions League win over Monaco – he was involved in both of Raphael Guerreiro’s goals – he hasn’t started a Bundesliga game since September.

Consequently, a move to Chelsea appears to make sense for everybody involved.

Certainly, with Eden Hazard once again flirting with a move to Real Madrid , and both Pedro and Willian now in their thirties, the Blues could do with adding an exciting young winger to their squad.

After all, this is a club that does not offer more than one-year extensions to players over 30.

Pulisic is not the only player Chelsea have considered signing to rejuvenate their ageing attack – Lyon attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir, Barcelona bad boy Ousmane Dembele and Everton’s versatile forward Richarlison have all been scouted – but Pulisic is fast becoming the most viable target.

As for Pulisic himself, he is doing his best to remain coy on a potential move to Stamford Bridge.

Speaking ahead of his country’s November friendly against England at Wembley, he stated, “Like I said before, reading these articles [about me], I tend to stay away from that stuff. I know it is going to be there but it is not my priority.

“England and the Premier League, it is a league where lots of kids dream of playing, so there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here.”

Certainly, he should have little trouble settling in, particularly at Stamford Bridge. As an attacker schooled at Signal Idunar Park – initially under Klopp and now Lucien Favre – he would have little trouble understanding what Blues boss Maurizio Sarri demands from his wingers.

The Italian is a fan of small, skilful forwards who press the ball intelligently – Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne both excelled under Sarri’s guidance at Napoli – meaning he would fit seamlessly into the Chelsea line-up.

However, Chelsea fans might be perturbed by their club’s interest in Pulisic, given his arrival could easily be construed as another obstacle on Callum Hudson-Odoi’s pathway to the first team.

The 18-year-old has impressed this season but first-team opportunities remain few and far between, leading to speculation that Hudson-Odoi may reject the contract he has been offered amid transfer interest from a host of foreign clubs.

Furthermore, Pulisic still has plenty of areas in which he needs to improve to prove himself worthy of such a massive financial investment, particularly from a goalscoring perspective. 

His talent is there for all to see, though, and given his age, and his expiring contract, it’s easy to understand why both Sarri and Chelsea are keen on the American attacker.

 

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