AC Milan, Lyon or MLS?! Christian Pulisic's potential transfer destinations as USMNT star remains linked with Chelsea departure

Christian Pulisic Chelsea injury 2022-23
The American star appears to have run out of road at Stamford Bridge, with his disappointing Blues career likely to end in the summer

It's been a rough year or so for Christian Pulisic, at least at club level. Brought in to be one of the shining stars of Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea attack in 2019, injuries once again disrupted his 2022-23 season.

Even when he was fit, a string of Blues bosses never seemed to be fully convinced of the USMNT star's talents, with Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard all showing a rather limp commitment to the Pulisic project.

His Chelsea career reached its nadir in May when he was left out of the matchday squad entirely for the Blues' 3-1 defeat to Arsenal. Incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino does not seem to have a radically different view on the forward, and it's all but certain that he will be moving onto pastures new this summer.

He could be available at a knockdown price too, with Pulisic's contract set to expire at the end of the season. AC Milan are believed to be leading the race for his signature at the time of writing, but Lyon remain keen and several other clubs could enter the running as they look to grab themselves a bargain this summer. Below, GOAL analyses where Pulisic will end up as he looks to rebuild his stuttering club career.

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  1. AC Milan

    AC Milan

    It was a disappointing 2022-23 season for AC Milan. Their Scudetto defence did not go to plan at all, and eternal rivals Inter also bested them in the Champions League semi-final over two blockbuster legs at San Siro. Soon after, technical director and club legend Paolo Maldini was sacked, capping off a pretty torrid year.

    The Rossoneri were one of the first clubs linked with a move for Pulisic when it became clear that things were not going to work out at Stamford Bridge, and it's easy to see why they would be interested. Even if he has signed a new contract, Rafael Leao's long-term future is still not certain, and Pulisic could be their succession plan for the Portuguese star.

    Several Premier League players - including Fikayo Tomori and Chris Smalling - have been able to resurrect their careers in Italy recently, and it's easy to imagine Pulisic repeating the trick should he move to San Siro this summer.

    With personal terms reportedly agreed and Pulisic keen on the switch, Milan have to be considered strong favourites to win the race for the 24-year-old's signature.

  2. Lyon


    The only other club who have tabled a formal offer for Pulisic is Lyon. Les Gones are a side in transition at the moment, with Jean-Michel Aulas' three-decade long tenure as chairman coming to an end in May.

    American businessman John Textor now has majority control of the club and the tech millionaire has looked close to home for his first marquee signing. Unfortunately for Lyon, Pulisic does not appear to be convinced by the prospect of joining the Ligue 1 side at present.

    And who can blame him? Paris Saint-Germain's stranglehold over French football means his chances of winning a league title are perilously thin, while Lyon's disappointing seventh-placed finish last campaign means they cannot even offer Pulisic Champions League football.

    It's difficult to envisage the American changing his mind, but if Milan cannot get a deal over the line, there are worse places to rebuild your reputation.

  3. Manchester United
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    Manchester United

    Pulisic was linked with an audacious move to Manchester United last summer, in a deal that might have involved Harry Maguire going in the other direction.

    Things have changed dramatically since then, with Chelsea looking well-stocked at centre-back due to the arrivals of Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile, and Maguire now worth a fraction of his previous value.

    Meanwhile, United are also thought to be prioritising other areas, with a striker at the top of their shopping list. The Red Devils' forward ranks are pretty bloated too, meaning Pulisic could find playing time similarly limited at Old Trafford. This one seems unlikely unless United opt to sell Jadon Sancho this summer, which isn't complete out the realm of possibility.

  4. Juventus


    Moving to Juventus could allow Pulisic to link up with long-time friend and USMNT team-mate Weston McKennie. McKennie moved to Leeds United on loan in January, but was on the train back to Turin just hours after the Whites' relegation was confirmed a few months later.

    The prospect of playing alongside his compatriot would be enticing for Pulisic, but if recent reports are to be believed, he could be on the move too.

    Juve are open to McKennie leaving Turin this summer, and may even include the midfielder in a part-exchange deal with for, ironically, Milan defender Pierre Kalulu. Perhaps then, Pulisic and McKennie will be reunited after all, just not at Juventus.

    Leaving that factor to one side, it may be advisable that the winger snubs a move anyway. Juve remain in turmoil and after a tricky season at Chelsea he is in danger of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  5. Leeds United
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    Leeds United

    Leeds boasted a wealth of American talent in their ranks last season, with Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and McKennie all plying their trade at Elland Road. This naturally led to Pulisic being linked with a move to the Whites as well.

    However, Leeds' relegation has taken this option off the table. There isn't much else to say, with Aaronson and Adams expected to be on the move this summer too.

  6. Atletico Madrid
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    Atletico Madrid

    Atletico Madrid are said to be monitoring Pulisic's situation closely. Let's not ignore the elephant in the room though, working under Diego Simeone has never been the most enjoyable pursuit for players of an attacking persuasion. Just ask Joao Felix, who, for a while at least, seemed set to play a role in this prospective switch.

    Felix showed flashes of quality in an entirely-dysfunctional Chelsea team last season, with the Blues subsequently flip-flopping on whether to make his loan switch permanent. For a while, including Pulisic as makeweight in the deal seemed to make sense.

    But in the end, Chelsea have decided against signing Felix, effectively ending their rumoured interest in the USMNT international.

  7. Newcastle
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    Moving to Newcastle would give Pulisic the opportunity to be one of the faces of a fast-growing club. It's not just the long-term potential of the Magpies that is alluring either. If Pulisic does make the switch, he will be treated to Champions League football next season, something his Chelsea team-mates can only dream of.

    Newcastle are having another busy transfer window this summer, already adding Sandro Tonali to their ranks in a club-record deal, as they look to give the squad a makeover ahead of their European adventure. Adding Pulisic to an attacking rotation that already contains the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson is exactly the sort of thing the Premier League upstarts need to be doing to take that next step in their development.

    This seems to be Pulisic's top option should he wish to stay in England this summer, but the Magpies have not explicitly expressed their interest thus far, seemingly preferring to pursue Harvey Barnes.

  8. Borussia Dortmund
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    Borussia Dortmund

    Why not head back to where it all began? Pulisic had the world at his feet when he departed Borussia Dortmund in 2019, but things haven't panned out as expected since.

    Dortmund are gearing up for a big summer too. Jude Bellingham has joined Real Madrid in a big-money move, so the club will have plenty of cash to splash before the start of next season.

    The only problem is that BVB are already well equipped in the wide forward positions. Marco Reus and Julian Brandt both recently ended months of transfer speculation by penning fresh contracts, and Edin Terzic also possesses a host of young talent.

    Karim Adeyemi, Youssoufa Moukoko and Donyell Malen have all enjoyed promising campaigns, while Giovanni Reyna - Pulsic's compatriot - seems unlikely to leave this summer. A lot will have to change before Dortmund becomes a viable option for Pulisic.

  9. MLS?!
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    In a word: no. Not yet anyway. Although the league has made significant strides in recent years, it remains a long way off the standard that someone of Pulisic's stature needs to be playing at week in, week out in order to reach his full potential.

    Particularly ambitious owners might sound out the player over the summer - but if he has any sense he will steer well clear of his 'home league' for now, even with Lionel Messi's arrival set to take it to the next level over the coming years.