Chelsea leading the race for Fire keeper ‘Gaga’ Slonina originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina has quickly become one of the most sought after young goalkeepers in MLS.

He’s reportedly a target for two of the biggest clubs in the world in Real Madrid and Chelsea. According to Tom Bogert, it’s the Premier League side who are leading the race.

Should a deal be made, the plan is for Slonina to be loaned back to the Fire. At the moment, there is no place for him on the first team as Chelsea still count on Eduoard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Slonina has had a bit of a meteoric rise. At only 18, the Addison native is the Fire’s undisputed No.1 starter this season. He started the season off strong, keeping a clean sheet in the first five games of the campaign.

Being a young goalkeeper, he’s had his share of hiccups recently but his talent remains unquestioned.

Being a dual national, he could have represented either the United States and Poland. He met with representatives from the Polish national team as they were trying to convince him to play for them. In the end, Slolina chose the United States.

His ascent and performances this season has drawn the attention of the aforementioned Chelsea and Real Madrid.

While Chelsea are in pole position, an offer has yet to be made to the Fire for their homegrown goalkeeper.

Should Slonina end up making the jump to the Premier League, he’ll join a list of other American goalkeepers to play in England. A list that includes Brad Friedel, Kasey Keller, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard and Zack Steffen to name a few.

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