Wolverhampton Wanderers have been dealt a potential setback in their pursuit of Chicago Fire goalkeeper, Gabriel Slonina…
Bruno Lage’s side have been linked with a move for the American stopper in recent weeks, with reports suggesting that the Molineux outfit were eyeing a £3m deal for the 18-year-old starlet.
However, any hopes of progressing negotiations have been dealt a blow by the latest update on the teenager’s situation from transfer insider Fabrizio Romano, who revealed that newly-crowned European champions Real Madrid are preparing a bid for his services.
Writing on Twitter, the Italian journalist revealed that: “Exclusive: Real Madrid are preparing opening bid for talented goalkepeer Gabriel Slonina, born in 2004. Chicago Fire are waiting for the first proposal to arrive soon for USMNT goalkeeper.”
Although Los Blancos are yet to make a concrete offer for the 6 foot 4 giant, their interest will likely all but end any hopes of the Old Gold pulling off a deal, such is the historical weight and financial muscle that the La Liga side possesses.
That update will no doubt prove a huge disappointment to Wolves supporters, with the club in need of an able deputy to current number one Jose Sa, following the departure of veteran stalwart John Ruddy.
The former Norwich City man had helped the club to promotion from the Championship during the 2017/18 campaign, although was subsequently dislodged by the now-departed Rui Patricio, before the arrival of Sa who replaced his fellow Portuguese last summer.
With the latter man having since thrived in his debut Premier League campaign – making the fourth-most saves in the division – there is little need to acquire a replacement this summer, although in Slonina they would likely have been able to acquire a player who could well usurp him in the future.
While the Illinois-born gem is something of an unknown quantity for those unfamiliar with MLS, he has seemingly caught the eye after a breakthrough last year or so, with his standout displays even reportedly catching the eye of Chelsea earlier this year.
The £2.7m-rated gem has started 14 games for his current side so far this term, conceding just 20 goals, keeping five clean sheets and averaging a solid two saves per game, showcasing just what a talent he already is, rather than necessarily being just a player for the future.
That is the view of current Chicago assistant coach Frank Klopas, who lavished the youngster with praise back in October after his emergence into the first team:
“He’s so young, it’s amazing. Maybe in 10, even 15 years, we’ll be talking about him and say, he’s hit his prime now.
“It’s scary how good this kid can be and you know what, he deserves only the best. He’s a great kid. He’s very grounded, he’s very mature, and he’s got a tremendous, tremendous upside and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Such a glowing reference will only add to the fury of the Wolves faithful, with the Midlands side seemingly set to miss out on an immensely promising prospect who could have been a mainstay of the squad for years to come.
All is not lost just yet, but with Madrid in the mix, any hope looks set to be extinguished.