USMNT’s Adams-Chelsea transfer set to fall through – sources

Tom Hamilton


Tom Hamilton

Senior Writer• Joined ESPN in 2011
• Covered two Olympics, a pair of Rugby World Cups and two British & Irish Lions tours
• Previously rugby editor, and became senior writer in 2018

James Olley


James Olley

Senior Writer, ESPN FCAug 11, 2023, 10:53 AM ET

United States national team midfielder Tyler Adams’ proposed £20 million ($25.4m) move from Leeds United to Chelsea is now looking unlikely due to disagreements over the structuring of the transfer fee, sources told ESPN.

Adams, 24, had looked set for a move to Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea. The USMNT captain has a £20m release clause in his contract at Leeds that can be activated after the club were relegated at the end of last season.

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With the issues around the structure of the deal proving too difficult a hurdle to overcome, sources told ESPN that talks between the clubs have broken down.

Sources added that Adams is still keen on a move to the Premier League with other clubs now interested, including Brighton, who could pursue him if Moisés Caicedo departs as expected.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi said on Friday that he had “already forgotten about Moisés” but the midfielder’s destination remains unclear.

Tyler Adams’ club, Leeds United, were relegated from the Premier League last season. Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool have had a British transfer record bid of £111m for Caicedo accepted by Brighton but sources told ESPN the player would prefer to move to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had previous offers worth up to £80m rejected for Caicedo and hoped to complete a deal at around £90m before Liverpool’s dramatic intervention.

Sources have said the potential increased fee for Caicedo was a contributing factor in Chelsea’s approach to the Adams deal, the team having previously indicated to Leeds that they would meet the player’s release clause in full.

Chelsea are weighing how to rival Liverpool’s bid given that they know the player wants a move to Stamford Bridge.

Another element is their pursuit of Romeo Lavia at Southampton, who have rejected multiple bids from Liverpool that fell short of their £50m valuation.

Chelsea are believed to have had a £48m bid for Lavia rejected and it remains to be seen whether the club can successfully agree terms for the 19-year-old and/or Caicedo.


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