DORTMUND, Germany — Hershey, Pennsylvania-native Christian Pulisic is taking his talents to London.
Chelsea F.C. have signed Pulisic from his current team, Borussia Dortmund. However, Pulisic will finish this season with Dortmund; Chelsea will pay Dortmund a transfer fee estimated to be $73.1-million, but has agreed to loan him back to the German team for the rest of the season. Dortmund is currently leading Germany's top soccer league, the Bundesliga.
The tranfer fee is by far the largest ever paid for an American-born player.
ESPN is reporting that several of the largest Premier League clubs had hoped to sign Pulisic including the current leader, Liverpool, and Manchester United.
In a letter Pulisic wrote to fans of Dortmund, he mentioned growing up in a "small American town called Hershey." He has been with Dortmund for four years, after joining the German club when he was just 16 years old.
Forbes magazine lists Chelsea as the 7th most valuable soccer club in the world. The club plays its home games at Stamford Bridge, a stadium in South West London. The team visited Baltimore for a game against Italy's AC Milan in 2009.
Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc released a statement on the team's website: "It has always been Christian's big dream to play in Premier League," he said. "This certainly has something to do with his American origin and thus we were not able to prolong his contract. Because of this background and with his contract running down in 2020, we decided to accept Chelsea's incredibly lucrative offer. Christian Pulisic has a flawless character. I am sure he'll will do all he can in the coming months to contribute his big qualities to the squad and achieve Borussia Dortmund's sporting goals with his teammates."
On Chelsea's web site, team director Marina Granovskaia said: "We are delighted to have signed one of Europe’s most sought-after young players. 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. We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge in the summer and wish him and Dortmund every success for the remainder of the season."