Juventus are leading the race to sign Christian Pulisic, sources have told ESPN, with Chelsea prepared to offload the United States forward for a £20 million fee this summer.
Although Chelsea have now confirmed the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as the new head coach at Stamford Bridge on a two-year contract, sources have said that the arrival of the former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain boss will not signal a U-turn on the club’s decision to listen to offers for Pulisic.
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Pulisic, a £58m signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2019, has 12 months remaining on his contract at Chelsea and with the club needing to reduce the size of their squad and wage bill after spending £585m on new players since Clearlake Capital bought out former owner Roman Abramovich a year ago, sources have said that Pulisic is high on the list of potential departures.
A number of clubs have been approached about the prospect of signing Pulisic, with sources telling ESPN that Manchester United, Newcastle, Napoli, AC Milan and Galatasaray have all been made aware of the player’s likely fee and salary, which sees him earn £13m per year at Chelsea.
But Italian club Juve have emerged as the front-runners, despite their reluctance to match Pulisic’s Stamford Bridge pay deal.
Juve, who will miss out the Champions League next season following a 10-point deduction for false accounting that has left them seventh in Serie A, are attempting to bolster their attacking options with wingers Angel di Maria and Juan Cuadrado both out of contract this summer.
With top-level experience at Chelsea and Dortmund at a relatively young age, the forward is regarded as an affordable option at £20m — if a deal can be struck to reduce his wages.
Pulisic has endured an injury-hit time at Chelsea over the past two season and he was booed onto the pitch by a small section of the club’s supporters when introduced as a second-half substitute during the final game of the season at home to Newcastle on Sunday.
With Chelsea adding forwards Mykhailo Mudryk, Raheem Sterling, Noni Madueke, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Datro Fofana to their squad since the takeover, as well as the loan signing of Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix, Pulisic fell out of the picture at the club and had been set to leave on loan in January but for a knee injury which led to him being sidelined for two months.