Football: Christian Pulisic is most expensive American player in history after $100m move to Chelsea

Dortmund's US midfielder Christian Pulisic falls as he eyes the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Monaco and Dortmund at the Louis II stadium in Monaco, on Dec 11, 2018.
Dortmund's US midfielder Christian Pulisic falls as he eyes the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Monaco and Dortmund at the Louis II stadium in Monaco, on Dec 11, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (THE GUARDIAN, AFP) - Chelsea made the first major statement of intent in the January transfer window by signing United States forward Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of £58 million (S$100.3 million) on Wednesday (Jan 3).

The 20-year-old becomes the most expensive American player in history and will be loaned back to the German Bundesliga leaders until the end of the season.

Pulisic, who moved to Germany as a teenager and has played more than 80 times for Dortmund, has featured more in the Champions League this season than the domestic league as coach Lucien Favre favours English winger Jadon Sancho in his line-up.

He admitted in November last year that he hoped to play in the English Premier League, having refused to extend his existing contract expiring in June 2020.

Pulisic said in a statement issued by Chelsea: "It's a privilege to have signed for such a legendary club and I look forward to working hard towards being a contributor to their team of world-class players."

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said: "It was always Christian's dream to play in the Premier League. That certainly has to do with his American background and, as a result, we were unable to extend his contract.

"Against this background, we have decided to accept an extremely lucrative bid by Chelsea, given the low contract maturity.

 

"Christian Pulisic is a character- perfect player. I am sure that in the coming months, he will do everything in his power to bring his high quality to the team and to achieve his sporting goals with his teammates at Borussia Dortmund."

A former Under-17 captain, Pulisic became the youngest player to captain the US senior side aged 20 years and 63 days in November last year.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia stated her delight to have signed "one of Europe's most sought-after young players... who has the potential to become an important Chelsea player for many years to come".