New Chelsea signing Gabriel Slonina ‘honoured’ to join ‘best team in London’: ‘It’s a privilege to wear the badge’

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abriel Slonina believes he has joined the “best team in London” after finally completing his transfer to Chelsea.

The American goalkeeper officially moved to Stamford Bridge from Chicago Fire on Tuesday in a highly anticipated and long-term deal reportedly worth £12 million, signing a six-year contract in west London.

Negotiations for Slonina had begun under previous ownership, and the deal had been set in motion following the high-profile acquisitions by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, before finally being sealed with just under a month to go before the summer window closes for business.

The 18-year-old will remain with the Chicago Fire for the remainder of the 2022 Major League Soccer (MLS) season, before joining his Chelsea teammates on January 1.

The Blues were beaten 4-0 by Arsenal in form last month in a grueling pre-season tour of his native United States, with reinforced Tottenham also chasing improvement from last season’s fourth-place finish under Antonio Conte, but Slonina appears in no doubt he has joined the capital’s top dogs.

New arrival: Gabriel Slonina has joined Chelsea with MLS outfit Chicago Fire on a six-year contract

/ Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“Honored to join such a huge club with so much history,” he tweeted. “It is a privilege to wear the emblem of the best team in London. Thanks to all fans for the warm welcome. I can’t wait to get started.”

Earlier, Slonina said: “Thank you to everyone at the club for making a childhood dream come true and thank you to the fans for a wonderful warm welcome. The hard work begins now. #ThePrideOfLondon.”

Slonina is Chelsea’s third contract in a difficult summer spell, following Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, and fellow teenager Carney Chukwuemeka will also join Aston Villa in a surprise deal after a £20m fee was agreed with Aston Villa.

Manager Thomas Tuchel is still eager for further defensive reinforcements, with Southampton fullback Kyle Walker-Peters now in the crosshairs of the club during talks with Brighton over Marc Cucurella.

Chelsea are also said to be interested in deals for Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana and Inter Milan’s versatile Dutch international Denzel Dumfries.

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