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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Borussia Dortmund confirm Christian Pulisic to join Chelsea in €64 million deal

USA international forward to be immediately loaned back to the German club for the rest of the season

Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, centre, is joining English club Chelsea on loan until the end of the season. EPA
Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, centre, is joining English club Chelsea on loan until the end of the season. EPA

Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that Christian Pulisic will join Chelsea for €64 million (Dh269m) but will remain at the German club on loan until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old forward's contract at Dortmund was due to expire on June 30, prompting the Bundesliga leaders to cash in on one of European football's most exciting young talents now rather than risk losing him for nothing in the summer.

"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," Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc told the club's website.

"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 Borussia Dortmund. "

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Pulisic, a USA international with 23 caps and nine goals to his name, had been linked with a move to Premier League leaders Liverpool to rekindle a partnership with Jurgen Klopp, who was Dortmund manager when a 16-year-old Pulisic signed for the German club in February 2015.

However, as reported in The National on December 5, reports that Pulisic had prioritised a move to Anfield over other Premier League clubs were wide of the mark.

Beating Liverpool and a posse of other clubs to Pulisic's signature represents a massive coup for Chelsea and may help steer the conversation away from the constant speculation surrounding star forward Eden Hazard's future at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea, who under Italian manager Maurizio Sarri sit fourth in the Premier League and have also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup and the last 32 of the Europa League, have played the majority of this season without a recognised centre-forward, instead preferring Hazard in a False 9 role.

Pulisic, who operates in one of the wide attacking roles, will be a welcome addition to Sarri's attacking ranks, especially given the futures of strikers Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata look far from certain.

Frenchman Giroud is out of contract this summer with no fresh terms on offer while Morata, who joined the club for a then club-record fee of £60 million in July 2017 from Real Madrid, has failed to make the desired impact in West London.

"In the summer I move on to Chelsea and to a new competition, the English Premier League," 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."

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said she looked forward to Pulisic becoming a major influence at the club for years to come.

"We are delighted to have signed one of Europe's most sought-after young players," she said.

"Christian has shown his quality during a fantastic spell in Germany and at just 20, we believe he has the potential to become an important Chelsea player for many years to come."

Pulisic, who has made over 100 appearances for Dortmund, has been one of the attacking mainstays of Lucien Favre's team who sit six points clear of champions Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga now on its winter break.

The fact he will remain at Signal Iduna Park as part of an attack boasting Spain international Paco Alcacer, Germany's Marco Reus and teenage Englishman Jadon Sancho for the remainder of the campaign will give fans who sit on the Yellow Wall hope of a first league title since 2012.

Updated: January 2, 2019 02:40 PM

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