With the summer transfer window scheduled to open on June 14 in the Premier League (find out about the rest of Europe here), we’re set for major deals and speculation around the biggest stars in the soccer world.
It also promises to be a big window for American players as several key U.S. men’s national team players will be on the move. Here is a look at six players who face pending moves in the weeks ahead.
The time has come. Pulisic had some nice moments at Chelsea — especially during Project Restart and in their Champions League title run — but his time there ultimately fell short of expectations. For the past couple of years, Pulisic has maintained that he wanted to fight for his place at Chelsea as the club’s managerial carousel was spinning, but it’s no longer worth it.
Chelsea had all but given up on him this year — even after an American, Todd Boehly, took control of the club — and it would be too much of a risk for him to try again next year.
There has reportedly been interest from multiple clubs in Italy, which all sound intriguing, but the most important factor should be his role: it must be as an every-game player. The prospect of him not getting regular minutes would invite this same conversation all over again next year, and as he approaches what should be his prime years and the 2026 World Cup, that would be a disaster.
With Leeds United headed down to the Championship, it all but assures a move for Adams. While some players might benefit from a year in a second-division league — American teammate Brenden Aaronson, for example — Adams would not. Even on a bad team, Adams proved he can play a meaningful role in the Premier League, so a move to a mid-table club feels about right for the USMNT’s World Cup captain.
Where that makes the most sense will be system dependent. He’s never going to be the deep-lying guy who sprays the ball around the field, and he’s best suited to play in a midfield with others who are more comfortable progressing the ball. What he can be is an elite ball winner, a skill that will draw a lot of suitors.
Even as Dest remains a key figure for the USMNT at right-back, his club situation is trending poorly. From Barcelona starter to seldom-used loanee at AC Milan, Dest’s value has taken a hit, and the idea that he can become a world-class right-back — something that seemed like a real possibility when he moved to Barca — is almost dead.
But let’s remember: he’s still only 22, and he is brilliant on the ball. Plenty of clubs would slot him into the starting XI from day one, and reports of Bundesliga interest are appealing. Like his American teammates on this list, his priority should be playing time. After struggling for minutes, he needs to go to a team where that doesn’t project as an issue. And if that means going to a smaller club, so be it. He can’t reverse course again if he’s not on the field.
McKennie’s loan move to Leeds was immediately undercut by Jesse Marsch’s dismissal, leading to a forgettable spring in the Premier League. McKennie has been linked to several Premier League clubs over the past two years, and a new, permanent move from Juventus to England should be the expectation.
Brighton is one landing spot that has popped up most frequently of late, but it’s too early in the summer to forecast McKennie’s options with much clarity.
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Pepi is the rare case of someone who was able to dramatically improve his stock on a team that was relegated. He scored 12 league goals in 29 matches for last-place Groningen, which managed just 31 as a team in 34 matches. Reports of interest from top Dutch clubs Feyenoord Rotterdam and PSV Eindhoven (where former U.S. Soccer general manager Earnie Stewart is the new technical director) signal two interesting options for the FC Dallas product.
After Pepi scored consistently in the Netherlands on a poor team, it would be fascinating to see what kind of goal tally he could manage in the league while surrounded by better talent.
Tillman’s loan deal at Rangers from Bayern Munich was a success. He was a top XI-caliber player in the Scottish Premiership and significantly improved his transfer value. Another year in Scotland could be good for his development, but if Bayern views him as a squad player and has a consistent role for him — whatever that looks like — it would be interesting to see how he would adapt.
There are several possible types of landing places in between, of course, and Tillman could easily play his way into a prominent national team role sooner rather than later if everything breaks his way.
Pulisic, Adams, Dest among USMNT players who need new club